Brendan Perlini takes another step on what he hopes is the road to returning to the NHL Sunday night when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Calgary Flames in their pre-season opener.
Perlini, who has 239 NHL games under his belt, spent last season playing in Switzerland.
“It was great. There were a lot of things I learned over that span to see what worked, what didn’t work in Europe, the style of play. Now I look forward to coming back here with the opportunity,” said Perlini.
Perlini, 25, was drafted 12th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2014. He was a high-scoring junior but managed just 46 goals with the Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Red Wings.
“It hasn’t panned out that way for him. He’s a guy who’s adjusting his game. He has size, speed, a real good shot,” said Oilers head coach Dave Tippett, who coached Perlini with the Coyotes. “He knows that there might not be a role as a first or second liner. He has to play with good energy, be real solid in everything he does. Any opportunity he gets on special teams, he has to make an impact.”
“I know Tip and his style. He demands a hard game from his players. That’s really what it is — being hard on pucks and being a complete 200-foot player,” explained Perlini, who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Oilers in August. If he doesn’t crack the Oilers lineup, he’ll join Bakersfield in the AHL.
The Oilers expected lineup Sunday is:
Benson – McLeod – Marody
Perlini – Shore – Turris
Sceviour – Ryan – Bourgault
Hamblin – Cracknell – Lavoie
Koekkoek – Bouchard
Broberg – Berglund
Lagesson – Kemp
The Oilers and Flames are on 630 CHED, with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.