On The O: Pair of eligible thriving with pressure

Jedd Jones2014 Draft Center0 Comments

When the Ontario Hockey League season started in late September, there was of course a lot of talk surrounding which prospects would see their draft stock rise with strong seasons and which would stumble and plummet.

For two OHL prospects there has been no sign of nerves or added pressure as the season nears the one-month mark and have seen their stock rise accordingly.

Brendan Perlini of the Niagara Ice Dogs has had a start to his season that can only be described as red hot.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound left winger has a lethal combination of speed, puck skills, and hockey sense which allow him to make dynamic plays in all three zones. He plays a high puck possession game and thrives when the puck in on his stick.

Perlini is a gifted skater who makes skilled plays at a high pace. His strong shot and ability to find open ice make him a treat to score each time he steps on the ice. After a rookie season last year where Perlini was nearly invisible with only 12 points in 59 games, the sophomore prospect has already more than double his point production from last year, recording 26 point in his first 12 games, which sits him second overall in OHL scoring.

His renewed consistent strong play will be a catalyst to the success of Niagara all season long. At the torrent pace which Perlini has begun the season with it is fairly safe to say he has a chance to break the 100-point plateau by seasons end.

After being a final cut from Canada’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial entry in August, Perlini is showing NHL scouts he deserved to be on the roster. If his tremendous start to the season, which saw him record five points against Owen Sound in early October, is any indication of the type of player Perlini is then he will have NHL scouts making trips to OHL rinks to see him play all season long.

Though his Sarnia Sting haven’t enjoyed the same success as the Ice Dogs, they are thrilled to have Anthony DeAngelo playing big minutes on the back end.

Standing only 5-foot-11, 167-pounds, DeAngelo won’t wow scouts with his physical play but he will impress them with his tremendous skating ability. He is a high-point producing defenseman with tremendous offensive skill.

An October birthdate, DeAngelo wasn’t eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft but is making the most of his extra year of development. After recording 58 points in 62 games in his sophomore season last year — third overall in OHL defensive scoring — DeAngelo showed NHL scouts that it was just the start.

So far this season the dynamic defenseman has 18 points in 11 games, which is a testament to his offensive skills. DeAngelo simply makes things happen in the offensive zone when he has the puck.

Not known for his consistent play in his own end last season, DeAngelo has shown good improvements to his defensive game this season which will only help his draft stock rise. If DeAngelo can continue to put up high point totals and work on his defensive game NHL Scouts will take even more notice of the style he plays.

It is important for both Perlini and DeAngelo to continue to play at the high levels which both have started with this season.  While their point totals are great, both players need to continue to play consistently for the rest of the season.

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