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Perlini becomes 1st Guildford Jr. member to ice in National Hockey League

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Guildford Flames logo December 5th was a proud moment for the Guildford Junior ice hockey club when Brendan Perlini became the first player from the local development programme to ice a game in the National Hockey League. The 20 year old forward made his NHL debut with the Arizona Coyotes at Columbus against the Blue Jackets.

Brendan was born in Guildford in 1996 as his dad Fred was wrapping up a stellar career with the Flames. The elder Perlini, who also iced in the NHL, remained in Guildford and eventually took on a coaching role as part of the Jr. set up where Brendan commenced his hockey career alongside his older brother Brett who was already a Jr. star at Spectrum.

The family eventually moved back to Canada where both Brendan and Brett continued to find hockey success.

Brendan continued his development hockey in Ontario, Canada at under 16 levels. He eventually iced at the pinnacle of Canadian Jr. hockey with the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara Ice Dogs where he posted 188 points in 217 games and, at 18, was selected in the 1st round of the NHL entry draft, 12th overall, by the Coyotes. Brendan also represented Canada’s national Jr. Team at the top level of World Championship play for Under 18’s and 20’s.

Brett, Canadian born, now 26, also made the move from Guildford to North American, and continued his Jr. career in Canada before spending 4 years at Michigan State University. He was a 7th round draft pick of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. He is currently playing minor pro in the ECHL where he has iced nearly 250 games.

“It is a great marker for the Junior club,” said Flames chairman John Hepburn who initially took over the senior club as part of stabilising the Jr. development outfit. “The whole purpose of youth sport is to help develop children in the ways of fitness, productive activity, teamwork and achievement that transfers to all facets of life. Brendan has been able to achieve great heights within hockey, and hopefully other children in the programme now can see that, and know that dreams are possible either in sport or a chosen alternate path. Both the Flames and Jr. organisation congratulate the Perlini family on this memorable moment.”

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