Team: Niagra Ice Dogs (OHL)
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Projected: Top 10
Brendan Perlini is a powerful offensive winger with a solid hockey IQ and good size with skating ability. He is a scorer by nature but can also set up teammates well and is working hard to improve his defensive play in order to round out his game.
Perlini had trouble gaining traction last year after starting out with the Barrie Colts and being traded to the Niagra Ice Dogs. This season, however, has found his way amassing 61 points on a team that has struggled overall.
Perlini plays a similar style to James Van Reimsdyk. He's strong on the forward side, using speed to create scoring chances for both himself and his linemates. Also like JVR when he was at that age, he is still developing his defensive game.
"He's a skilled offensive player with good size [6-foot-2.5, 205 pounds] and is off to a great start," (NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan) Marr said. "His strength has improved and he's working and competing hard, playing with a lot of confidence. He's got good hockey sense, good anticipation and a quick read-and-react game."
"Dad just told me to be yourself out there; he's given me a lot of advice over the years and he's always said work hard at what you do even if you have the least-paying job," Perlini said. "No matter what you do you can still be the hardest worker. I've always taken that to the ice and I'll always have that in my back pocket."
"He has a pro approach," (IceDogs assistant coach David) Bell adds. "He comes and asks about his improvements on the penalty kill and on his D zone. He knows he needs to work on his total package. A lot of guys, all they want to talk about is points. He's not yet once come and asked, 'let me see the goal I just scored.' Rather, it's 'where should I have been on that goal against?' or 'where should I have been on that penalty kill?' That's what pros do."
Where He Would Fit
Perlini is yet another offensively gifted winger who would be great for the Nashville Predators. Like a few of the other prospects, in the future Perlini would ideally slot in on one of the top two left wings along side either Smith or Forsberg and provide some much needed scoring punch to the Predators' lineup.
The Predators would likely value Perlini for his hard working mentality and his efforts to improve his defensive game. His size and speed would fit with the Predators and with his team playing poorly this season you can rest assured that he is "Predator hard."
Perlini could be picked in the draft anywhere from around the number six spot towards the middle of the draft. This is good for the Predators if they look favorably on him because he could potentially be around even if they barely miss the playoffs this season.