The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft emanates from Philadelphia on June 27 with the Washington Capitals holding the 13th overall selection. Over the next week, I will profile five potential draftees that could realistically be available to Washington.
Position: Left Wing
Team: Niagara IceDogs (Ontario Hockey League)
Age: 18 (April 27, 1996)
NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: No. 8 (North American Skaters)
Perlini was Niagara's leading goal scorer in 2013-14, finishing with 34 goals in 58 games. A native of England, the fleet-footed power forward is touted for his hockey sense and natural scoring instincts.
The 18-year-old plays a strong puck-possession game, using his size to shield opponents from the puck along the boards. His offensive awareness would certainly add another weapon to a Capitals team that has its fair share of scoring threats, especially on the top-ranked power play. Perlini's 16 power-play goals were tied with potential No. 1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad for the most in the OHL among draft-eligible skaters.
Perlini's combination of speed, size and skill will be enticing to many clubs in the early portion of the draft, and it might be considered a steal for Washington if he is available.
"Perlini's first-step quickness for his size is extremely impressive. His physical package and skill level make him a very desirable power forward-type of prospect if he improves in the physical part of the game. Perlini has quick hands and the offensive composure to make plays in tight spaces. He's also a great scorer who can finish from mid-distance. Perlini has the ability to be a game-breaker, and while he still needs to find that consistency in terms of creation and two-way play, he can be a major factor in a game."
"He plays an unselfish game moving the puck around and he gets his stick on pucks and arrives on time for chances. He's a good shooter and has a good touch finishing chances.”
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