Brendan Perlini is one of the most prized players in the 2014 NHL Draft. Although his numbers are slightly behind those of fellow OHL left winger Nick Ritchie, Perlini will likely be a top 10 draft pick.
The 6’2″, 205lbs left winger has the ideal blend of speed, size, and skill that NHL teams covet. In 58 OHL games for the Niagra IceDogs in 2013-2014, Perlini scored 34 goals and recorded 37 assists for 71 total points. In both the mid-term and final Central Scouting draft rankings, Perlini was ranked 8th among North American skaters.
What A Team Will Get When They Draft Him
The team that drafts Brendan Perlini will get a solid offensive force. They will have a player with good size who plays a fast game. He does not play an incredibly physical game, but he has the tools to develop a mean streak.
Perlini projects to be a top six left winger who can put up a fair amount of points. He is not NHL ready (not many in the 2014 class are), but he has a high ceiling.
Todd Cordell had this to say about Perlini:
"Perlini is easily one of the best skaters in this draft. He has a very fluid stride, and reaches his top speed in a hurry because of his first three steps. He has the ability to consistently carry the puck up ice and into the offensive zone with possession"
His Most Underrated Skill
Cordell went on to call Perlini’s shot “underrated.” I wholeheartedly agree. Perlini can put the puck wherever he wants, from any point in the offensive zone. Both his wrist shot and slap shot have a quick release.
Perlini also has the uncanny ability to make any pass look good. He can get off a one-timer from almost any position. His ability to get a shot off (accurately) is something that will not go overlooked by the scouts in this upcoming draft.
Director of NHL Central Scouting Daniel Marr had this to say about Perlini’s shot:
"He’s a good shooter and has a good touch finishing chances."
What He Still Needs To Work On
Typically a player who stand as tall as Perlini has no trouble having a mean, physical game. Scouts are already praising the physicality of Nick Ritchie and other power forwards like him. Perlini, however, relies more on his skating ability and speed.
Although he may never be a grinding power forward in the mold of Milan Lucic or Scott Hartnell, Perlini could stand to add some physicality to his game. With his size, it would not be unreasonable to see Perlini develop into a physical force.
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