Coyotes prospects Brendan Perlini
and Dylan Strome
joined other up-and-coming hockey players at the seventh annual NHLPA Rookie Showcase this week.
Thirty-nine players gathered in Toronto for the two-day event, where NHLPA partners including Upper Deck, Getty Images and EA Sports photographed them in their team’s uniforms and/or gathered their autographs for use in various memorabilia.
“It was awesome and I had a great time there,” said Perlini, whom the Coyotes selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. “I got to be around a lot of my friends and got to meet some of the Europeans that I didn’t know. There were a lot of great young players there like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and it’s always fun being around the best guys. It was a good experience. Toronto is a really cool city.”
While at the event, Perlini, Strome and the others played a friendly scrimmage, dined together and toured the Hockey Hall of Fame.
During his tour of the Hall of Fame, Perlini said he found his dad, Fred, listed in recognition for being the only player to score a hat trick for the Toronto Marlboros (OHL) one afternoon and going on to play for and score for the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) later the same day.
At Tuesday’s scrimmage, Perlini and Team Black defeated Strome and team White.
“I thought it was going to be a lot more intense than it was, but it was fun,” Perlini said. “It was a very light 5-on-5 scrimmage. Some fans were there so it was cool to try to pull off a few moves for them. Mostly it was just the guys having a good time. Being with the guys in that setting was cool. At this point in the summer you miss them and the chirping, so it was good to see everyone again.”
A highlight for Strome, whom the Coyotes selected with the third overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, included a bragging-rights victory over McDavid in a bubble hockey match. Strome raised his arms in triumph and pounded his chest after beating his OHL teammate and friend.
Next up for both players is the Coyotes Rookie Camp that begins on Sept. 11.