GLENDALE – Brendan Perlini is making his debut at Coyotes Rookie Camp and the 18-year-old slick-skating forward is determined to make a good first impression.
“I’m going to try to do everything I can to make the team,” Perlini said. “I’m coming in here focused and driven. I’m not just coming here to be another guy at camp. I’m fully committed to try and make this team. That was my goal all summer and I’ve been training toward it, so I’m just trying to do the best that I can do.”
Perlini is one of three first-round draft picks at this camp. The others, Henrik Samuelsson and Max Domi, have been identified by team management as two of five players at Rookie Camp who could possibly make the Coyotes Opening Night lineup this season.
Perlini has not been mentioned in that group because he’s only 18 and this camp is his first meaningful taste of an NHL atmosphere; the Coyotes selected him 12th overall at the NHL Draft just last June. Nevertheless, Perlini is hoping to catch the eye of General Manager Don Maloney and Head Coach Dave Tippett this week and beyond.
“My speed is my biggest thing so hopefully they notice that and my skill set,” Perlini said. “I really put a lot of work into the defensive side of my game - on the wall and chipping pucks out and doing the little things - so I hope they notice I’ve gotten better at that since last year.”
Perlini gained valuable experience last month when he attended Hockey Canada’s World Junior Camp to try out for the 2015 World Junior team.
|Brendan Perlini. Photo by Norm Hall. |
“That was a good little tune-up for me,” Perlini said. “Everybody wants to make that team and I was really focused. It’s kind of similar - maybe a little more intense here - and it’s good to have that. I’m a very focused and driven guy and I like being around that type of atmosphere.”
As part of this Rookie Camp, the Coyotes rookies will play two games versus the LA Kings rookies this week in Glendale – on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Perlini, who notched 34 goals and 37 assists in 58 games for Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League last season, is looking forward to those games so he can see how he competes against older and more seasoned players.
“My main goal obviously is making the squad, but if I come up short I hope to take a lot of lessons from this (camp) and try and learn.”
NOTE: The rookies were split into two teams on Sunday and the teams scrimmaged for 35 minutes.
Samuelsson and Andrew Mangiapane scored goals as the Red Team beat the White Team 2-0.
The rookies will practice again on Monday starting at 10 a.m. at Gila River Arena A scrimmages will start at 10:50 a.m.
Lessio (38), Dauphin (76), Rieder (8), Perlini (37), MacInnis (49), Kulda (81), Laplante (75), O’Donaghue (78), Playfair (82), Hache (73), Mayo (61), Southorn (72), Suellentrop (56), Brown (black sweater)
Domi (16), Gaudet (38), Samuelsson (15), Carey (80), Dvorak (51), Stevenson (79), Cave (83), Mangiapane (85), Sautner (90), Lebeouf (86), Mermis (91), Melindy (68), Hanley (60), Burke (red sweater), Langhamer (white sweater)
All practices are open to the public and free.