Top 25 under 25 #6: Brendan Perlini (LW)
Where did he come from?: Drafted round 1, #12 overall by Coyotes in 2014
Rank in last year’s 21 under 21? #8
Has he played NHL yet?: Yes (57 games, 14 goals, 7 assists)
About Brendan Perlini
The 6’2, 212lb winger born in Guildford, England of Canadian parentage is one of the Coyotes’ most exciting young prospects, as befits his position on this list. He is also carrying a proud family name and tradition forward into the NHL - his father Fred played 8 games for the Maple Leafs but is a legend in British hockey, scoring 1849 points in 410 games at an incredible 4.5 points per game in a ten year career in the 80s and 90s, while his brother Brett currently plays for the UK’s Nottingham Panthers after a prolific ECHL career. His uncle Kevin Conway also lit up UK hockey, while his cousin Scott Conway currently plays for Providence College in the NCAA.
However, Brendan has risen the furthest. After an impressive two seasons with Niagara in the OHL he jumped straight to the NHL last season and immediately found a scoring touch with 14 goals. He’s a big, skilled winger with a deadly shot - his first NHL goal on Nashville’s Pekka Rinne is a typical example of what he can do:
He scored 13 others with the Coyotes, and also 14 in 17 games in Tucson to show that he’s more than ready to play at the NHL level - and this season he’ll likely continue to be among the Coyotes’ key players providing secondary scoring, with a middle-six wing role his for the losing.
What’s next for Brendan Perlini?
Hopefully, many more goals this season in the NHL. He’s the kind of player who shows incredible raw talent, and will likely start the season on the third line with Tobias Rieder and a center to be named later, with the assignment to be the sniper on that line. A second-line role is by no means out of the question, but it would likely mean switching wings to accomodate Clayton Keller on the left side, although a combination of Keller’s playmaking and speed and Perlini’s pure sniping instincts could be very profitable indeed.
Whoever he ends up with, Perlini’s talent is that he can play in any one of four wing slots in the middle six, which makes him very valuable indeed to Rick Tocchet. Given a full season this year, hitting the 20-goal mark is definitely reachable and he possesses the potential to reach heights beyond that. All he needs to do is keep doing what he’s been doing so far in the NHL.