It was announced on Tuesday that Arizona Coyotes GM has signed the team’s first-round pick from the 2014 NHL Entry Draft to a three-year, entry level contract. Brendan Perlini, who was selected 12th overall by the Coyotes, will be coming to the Coyotes from the CHL’s Niagara IceDogs.
Perlini, who is a native of Saulte Ste. Marie, Ontario, split his years playing hockey between Canada and Michigan. He spent two years playing for Belle Tire in suburban Detroit, skating with both the bantam AAA team and the midget U16 team before being drafted by the Barrie Colts in the 2012 OHL Priority Draft.
He skated half a season with the Colts in 2012 before being traded mid-season to the Niagara IceDogs. During his tenure with the IceDogs, he developed as a high-scoring power forward; he racked up 34 goals and 37 assists during his last season alone. In addition, he played for Team Canada in the 2014 U18 World Championship, pitching in with three goals and 1 assist in the team’s road to a bronze medal. He’s explosive and strong, standing at six foot two just months after his eighteenth birthday.
The team’s general manager, Don Maloney, seems pleased with the prospect. During the announcement, Maloney only had good things to say about Perlini- “Brendan is a strong skater with great size and skill. He had an impressive prospect development camp and we look forward to watching [him]“.
It’s unlikely that Perlini will see much ice time, if any, during the upcoming season. He may have been named the most sportsmanlike player on his last team, but the left wing is still relatively inconsistent- he has streaks as cold as he does hot. With two NHL-ready left wing prospects already in the system, Arizona will have little need to call the eighteen-year-0ld up to the majors before the 2015 or even 2016 season.
Despite this, though, the addition of an explosive, powerful forward to Arizona’s future lineup can only be a good thing. Coyotes fans will want to keep an eye on this guy, because he’s sure to be a name on everyone’s lips before too long.