Spartan recruit Perlini on radar?

The early reports are in. Steve Bernier was an outstanding deadline pick-up by the Buffalo Sabres. The 22-year old wing is viewed as a big ticket item to most, as he's the only immediate return on the deal that sent Brian Campbell to San Jose. Here at SabresProspects, the focus instead lays on that sparkling 2008 first-round nugget that also arrived with "Big Bear". The NHL draft is our Super Bowl, and the 2008 selection meeting is currently seen as being on the good side of the "weak/deep" forecasting scuttlebut that fans hear about every year. One name that Sabres fans need to scratch in their mid-round notebooks is that of 17-year old, Brett Perlini. The 6'2, 180-pound center recently left Ohio (USHL) for his hometown Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL, where he has posted 16 goals and 27 points in 15 games. Over the past two seasons in the NOJHL, Perlini has scored 54 goals in 63 contests. Here's an interesting breakdown of his participation in roughly 30% of the Thunderbirds season: 27 points (7th) 16 goals (5th) 6 PP points (t-4th) 4 GWG (t-2nd) 2 SHG (t-2nd) Set to join 2007 third-round pick Corey Tropp at Michigan State in the fall, Perlini's scoring knack has been on the scouting radar for quite some time now. The Sabres have already deployed a set of eyes out to the Soo for a viewing, with the press box line also including reps from New Jersey, Detroit, Carolina, and Vancouver. Those who have an opinion on the Sabres use of video as an integral scouting platform can read this two ways. One, they do indeed have evaluators abroad, sipping coffee while taking notes on players. And two, if video is considered a primary viewing mechanism, one could suggest the low-league visit is indicative of the organization's interest level in the swift skating center. Buffalo would gladly welcome more scoring weaponry in the cupboards. Perlini moves well down the middle, packs an excellent set of hands, and doesn't mind hitting high-traffic areas to get his points. With his purely offensive skill set attractive at any level, the question of where he would play out his teenage years - the NCAA or with the OHL's Soo Greyhounds - became a widely debated topic until his May commitment to the Spartans. MSU coach Rick Comley preferred that Perlini jump to the Tier I level of the USHL, where he complied by scoring a goal and four assists in 19 games with the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets. As the club struggled, various issues allowed the talented prospect to head back to the NOJHL in January. Since then, his gross production speaks for itself regardless of the tier II competition. Don't expect Perlini to actually be chosen with the packaged pick from San Jose. The "Campbell for Bernier + ______" equation will likely be completed with a more well-known player from a bigger league. As it is, the six-team NOJHL rarely produces NCAA talent, let alone an NHL first-round draft pick. After the first two rounds though, draft position is anyone's guess.
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