‘Yotes Notes: Brendan Perlini earns call-up after tearing up AHL

Dec 4, 2016, 9:34 PM

Arizona Coyotes take OHL winger Brendan Perlini with No. 12 pick in 2014 NHL Draft....

Arizona Coyotes take OHL winger Brendan Perlini with No. 12 pick in 2014 NHL Draft.

The Coyotes never expressed major concern over Brendan Perlini’s loss of scoring touch in his final two years in juniors with Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League. The greater concern was the guidance he was getting and the ways in which he was being used.

Coyotes Director of Player Development Steve Sullivan said last year that he thought a year in the American Hockey League learning the Coyotes’ system under the Coyotes staff would do Perlini a world of good.

Sullivan has been dead on with that assessment. Perlini leads the Roadrunners and is tied for the American Hockey League lead in goals with 11 (six on the power play) after Sunday’s games, but he won’t get the chance to pad that stat. Coyotes general manager John Chayka recalled the team’s 2014 first-round pick (12th overall) to join them on their two-game road trip through Columbus and Chicago.

“I was kind of in shock when he told me and I’m still not really sure how to describe the feeling,” Perlini said. “It’s an awesome feeling to have and I’m just extremely grateful for the opportunity that they’re going to give me. It’s pretty sweet. I’m excited to get going.”

Chayka highlighted two valuable assets when discussing the call up.

“Brendan possesses elite speed and goal-scoring ability,” Chayka said. “He has led the AHL in scoring early on and we believe he has earned the opportunity to show what he can do at the NHL level.”

Perlini, 20, agreed that working with the Roadrunners’ and Coyotes’ staffs has made a dramatic difference in his game, but there has been other advantages.

“Obviously it helps to have a winning team and a winning start,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot just getting to play with older guys. In juniors, you get stuck playing with guys your own age. You have men around you here so it’s a new challenge, a good challenge.”

Perlini had been playing on a line with Craig Cunningham and Chris Muller before Cunningham collapsed before a game and was hospitalized. Since then, coach Mark Lamb has tried both Eric Selleck and Christian Fischer on the right side of the line.

The Roadrunners have dropped three straight after a 9-2-2 start, but Lamb has been impressed with Perlini.

“I’ve seen a guy that’s grown, a guy that’s been very coachable,” Lamb said. “His two biggest assets are that he has unbelievable speed and he’s got an unbelievable shot, and we’re seeing both of those pretty much every night in all areas.”

Perlini was used to playing up high on the power play, but Lamb wants him to create net presence so Perlini has studied his new Coyotes teammate for tips.

“I would compare it to [Martin] Hanzal,” he said. “I’ve been watching quite a bit of him and how he creates net presence. It’s a lot more than just standing in front of the goalie. I always thought that’s what that guy does but watching Hanzal — and he does it really well — he’s always moving, making little plays and just being good around the net, being able to finish.

Perlini admitted over the summer that the situation in Niagara was challenging, but he is in a good frame of mind now — one that will certainly be buoyed by his call-up to the NHL club.

“You can always take something from different experiences and grow,” he said. “More than anything, I’ve had a lot more fun this year which has been the main thing behind my play.”


The Coyotes assigned center Laurent Dauphin and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo to Tucson on Sunday; DeAngelo to work on defensive aspects of his game and Dauphin to work on more offensive parts of his game.

DeAngelo has two goals and seven points in 11 games with the Coyotes. Dauphin, a staple of the penalty-killing unit, has a goal and two points in 18 games.


Mike Smith’s Coyotes franchise record 58 saves on Saturday against Columbus represented just the fourth time in the last 27 seasons that an NHL goalie has made at last 58 saves.

Coyotes at Blue Jackets

When: 5 p.m., Monday

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: ESPN 620 AM

Records: Coyotes 8-11-4. Jackets 14-5-4.

Injury report: Coyotes — C Brad Richardson (broken right tibia and fibula) is out indefinitely. Jackets — F David Clarkson (back) is on IR with a potentially career-threatening injury.

Scouting the Jackets: As of Monday morning, the Blue Jackets were fourth in the Eastern Conference with 32 points (30) after a 3-2 shootout win over the Coyotes on Saturday in Glendale … Columbus second in the NHL in goals per game (3.18) and tied for fifth in goals allowed per game (2.22) … F Nick Foligno leads the team in goals with nine and is tied with F Cam Atkinson for the tam lead in points with 21 … G Sergei Bobrovsky is tied for 12th in the NHL in save percentage (.929) and 10th in GAA at 2.08 … Columbus has the NHL’s top-ranked power-play unit at 23.8 percent.

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