My Journey: Brendan Perlini

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A family legacy led Brendan Perlini to hockey. Now he seeks to establish his own reputation as he describes his path to the NHL.

[MUSIC PLAYING] - When I was young, my main NHL idol was Mario Lemieux. Love number 66. Another person was my dad, obviously playing in the NHL.

And the last person is actually my grandfather. He was unbelievable athlete. Went to the Detroit Red Wings training camp at 15 years old, and all those three guys were big in my life.

My mom-- she was actually one of my first coaches. Still to this day, I think, is really one of my main motivators. My brother has been huge, too. Without my brother, I definitely don't think I would've made it here. It's great when you have someone similar age who you can talk to about similar problems in hockey and life and stuff.

I always remember buzzing around on my rollerblades, probably at two or three years old, and then my first game in Guilford England was-- I believe I was six years old, and I was pretty scared to go out on the ice. And then I can remember my dad throwing me out there, and I ended up scoring a hat trick. I've always believed, even from-- I can remember being eight, nine years old, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to play in the NHL, and there was never really a second thought to me about not doing it.

When it finally happened, it was an unbelievable feeling. I look back, and I'm like, holy cow, you know, it's been four or five years since my draft already. I felt like it was just yesterday.

ANNOUNCER: And we're looking forward to the NHL debut of number 29, Brendan Perlini.

BRENDAN PERLINI: It was almost similar to the draft in a way, where I had gone down to Tucson for the previous few months. Really done well down there and had a lot of confidence. And then when I got the call, I was obviously very excited, but at this point, I thought I belonged, and this is where I should be.

ANNOUNCER: Into the [INAUDIBLE], Perlini scores his first National Hockey League goal!

- I thought I should have had a few before that. Its was [INAUDIBLE] in the corner, and he turned, and I was right in the middle of a slot combo [INAUDIBLE]. I yelled for it. He seen me. Passed it.

I received it to-- on my back end, and that's actually one of the shots I've practiced-- I don't know, you can say probably hundreds of thousands of times, millions of times. And I'm top-- top right, I believe, on [INAUDIBLE]. For [INAUDIBLE] to be able to assist on it, you know, the legend that he is, is awesome, which was really cool that he assisted on my first and then on the very last goal of the season. I scored that, and he assisted on it, which was his last point as well. So those are, you know, from my rookie season, kind of cool things.