We kick off our 2014 NHL Draft coverage today with our first prospect profile; over the next month Defending Big D will be dedicated to covering every aspect of the draft and the Dallas Stars needs and goals heading into the summer.
Today's profile looks at LW Brendan Perlini from the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL.
Brendan Perlini, LW, 6'3", 205lbs, Shoots Left
Brendan Perlini is a big, smooth skating offensive forward. He is extremely well mobile, especially for someone of his size. He plays a very intelligent game and nearly always makes the smart plays. Perlini has top end vision and can nearly always find his man when he makes the pass.
He's also remarkable patient and can cover effectively for any defenseman that has been caught up the ice. His shot is top end and he's got a quick shot and is very accurate. He's got a nose for goal scorer and has offensive talent in bucket loads. It's also clear that Perlini is one of the biggest risers in this draft coming from nowhere to be one of the top prospects. He's done extremely well playing alongside Carter Verhaeghe, whether this explains his sharp spike in production remains to be seen but on the face of it he is very talented.
His main downside is that he doesn't play his size. He can be outmuscled along the boards by smaller opponents and its obvious that the physical game isn't his game. It's not necessarily a significant issue but something that will make him fall down the draft boards a bit.
Perlini is at the top end offensively, he has one of the best shots in the draft and probably comparable to the majority of NHLers. He can skate very well and is a very skilled player. Yes, he might not play his size but he still has the potential to be a top six winger in the NHL.
Scouting Reports from around the web:
Perlini is a lethal combination of speed, puck skills, and hockey sense which allow him to make dynamic plays in all three zones. He plays a high puck possession game and thrives when the puck in on his stick.
Brendan Perlini is a very good skater, with excellent speed and acceleration. He couples this with very good agility to be deadly off the rush. He is extremely hard to stop one-on-one. Add to that the good balance and power to be able to fight through checks and you have a lot of offensive potential here.
Brendan Perlini is one of the best skaters in this year's draft class. His top speed is extremely high, and he reaches it quickly due to his ability to pick up speed in his first three steps. Perlini uses his size well to protect the puck, and is confident with it on his stick. He regularly gains the opposing line with possession of the puck, and can carry it up ice whenever necessary.