Taking Liberties With… Brendan Perlini
Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Guildford, Great Britain
Acquired: Coyotes’ first-round pick (12th overall) in 2014 NHL Draft
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Brendan Perlini: Playing for the Detroit Belle Tire team in my Bantam season (2010-11). We won the national championship, so that would probably be my favorite memory. We had a lot of good players, like Dylan Larkin (now with the Detroit Red Wings). There were about four or five of us who became first-round NHL picks and we had many others who were drafted. Being drafted by the Coyotes was also a great memory.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
BP: My NHL first game (against Columbus), my debut was awesome. You work your whole life to get up here and see your dream come true. To be up here most of the year is an awesome achievement.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
BP: Probably my parents. They’ve done so much. It sounds cliché, but a lot of guys would say that. They do much for you, like taking you to the rink, feeding you in the early morning, and that kind of stuff. We moved from England to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to Detroit and they went out of their way for me, molded me as a hockey player and as a person.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
BP: No.1 is to have fun. That’s the main thing. If you’re not having fun every day, and not sure of what you’re doing, it’s especially trying to be a hockey player and not worth playing. The main thing is coming to the rink with a smile on your face every day and ready to work. Whether it’s at the rink, at home, school, whatever, and if you want to be a hockey player, try and get better every single day and hopefully, things will work out.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
BP: Growing up in England, I loved soccer and the Premier League. My favorite team is Manchester United – I’m a big supporter. Grew up and played soccer over there and I play a lot of golf, too, but I like anything, to be honest.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
BP: It’s pretty relaxed. We have a pre-game skate, I’ll eat after that, and sleep for a bit. I’ll get to the rink for a 7 p.m. game around 4:45. I’ll get a little snack and just keep it light. Light stretch, get my body ready, tape a couple of sticks, and get mentally focused and ready to hit the ice.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
BP: It’s probably True Foods. I like that place and I like to eat healthy, so it’s all good.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
BP: Last couple of road trips, not exactly by myself, but with Alexander Burmistrov, we play video games. One of us will bring either Playstation or Xbox and it’s something we’ll play on the plane. Essentials? A suit, I guess. You’ll look pretty bad going to the game not looking nice.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
BP: That was Mario Lemieux. I liked him, liked his No. 66. Obviously, a big guy with great talent. He retired when I was really young, maybe nine or 10. I liked a lot of European guys, and Russian guys, those types of players. It’s nice to watch them, really elegant, and good skills. I took pieces from their game, try to apply important parts to my game, and emphasize speed.
Photo/Norm Hall/Getty Images
— Compiled by Mark Brown