Leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Brendan Perlini (LW)
Height: 6’2 Weight: 205 Shoots: Left
Team: Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 8 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
Perlini wears jersey No. 11, which is a tribute to his father Fred Perlini, who put up all sorts of ridiculous scoring numbers in British/overseas hockey leagues. (Just take a gander at this page … the stats are zany.) Family is a big theme with this prospect in general, as his brother Brett (the 192nd pick of the 2010 NHL Draft by Anaheim) also wears No. 11.
It’s not too surprising that Perlini has the potential to be a prolific scorer like his father … yet hopefully on the NHL level.
He’s a sizable forward with a big shot who draws some praise for his skating ability to boot. Perlini enjoyed a big jump in production from 2012-13 (10 points in 27 games) to 2013-14 (71 points in 58 games). Comparisons range from Ryan Strome to James Van Riemsdyk.
While Perlini’s potential as a sniper is most likely to entice teams, Niagara IceDogs assistant coach David Bell raved to Buzzing the Net about his interest in improving his all-around game.
“He has a pro approach,” Bell said. “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.”
For more 2014 NHL Draft previews, click here.
Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.
Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.
During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.
“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.
“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”
The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.
Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.