The warmth of the August sun is pointing to the ice of September.
As the clock ticks toward the 2014-2015 junior hockey season, let us take time to begin our watch on six notable players with a Sault Ste. Marie side to them.
With hockey roots that sprouted in England where he spent winters of his early life with his Sault Ste. Marie-born parents, the 1996 birth-year left winger has it all in front of him.
Following a 2013-2014 season with the Niagara Ice Dogs — which was his second in the Ontario Hockey League — Perlini continued to chase his dreams when the Arizona Coyotes took him in the first round, 12th overall, at the 2014 National Hockey League draft.
Blessed with blazing speed and big and strong at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Perlini had 34 goals, 37 assists, 71 points in 58 regular-season games with Niagara in 2013-2014.
Perlini still has two seasons of OHL eligibility and the word is that he needs to continue to work on the defensive part of his game.
To be sure, Perlini has hockey bloodlines from his dad and mom’s side.
His father, Fred Perlini Jr., is a former OHL and British Hockey League star.
His maternal uncle, Kevin Conway, once scored 66 goals in a single OHL season before heading to the United Kingdom and a career that earned him a spot in the British Hockey Hall of Fame.
If Perlini plays a full OHL season in 2014-2015, we could could be talking about 90-plus points.
There are those who are of the notion that this 1996 birth-year centre with the OHL’s North Bay Battalion already plays a pro-style game.
With good size at 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, Amadio is a defensive-first forward who has played two OHL seasons
for Stan Butler, widely-respected as one of the best development coaches in the game.
Born-and-raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Amadio has not put up big offensive numbers in North Bay with just 18 goals in 127 games over two OHL seasons.
But the Los Angeles Kings looked past his production numbers and took him in the third round, 90th overall, at the 2014 NHL draft.
Smart, skilled, dependable and coachable, Amadio could well score 25-30 goals in his third OHL season in 2014-2015
As a 16-year old rookie with Soo Greyhounds in 2013-2014, this 5-foot-11, 162 pound pivot had 19 goals, 21 assists, 40 points in 62 OHL games despite playing on the third and fourth lines.
Eligible for the NHL draft in 2015, the 1997 birth-year product of Sault Ste. Marie and graduate of the Soo Thunder minor midgets is looking at a long-and-illustrious OHL career.
Another graduate of the Soo Thunder minor midgets, Dorval actually hails from the northeastern Ontario hockey haven of Hearst.
Following an explosive 2013-2014 season in which he scored 48 goals in 75 games with the Thunder and had a team-leading 122 penalty minutes, the 5-foot-11, 167 pound Dorval was selected by the Kingston Frontenacs in the second round of the 2014 OHL draft.
A 1998 birth-year centre, Dorval was the best midget player to come out of Northern Ontario in 2014 and many are saying that Kingston got a future OHL star and NHL draft pick in the skilled, scrappy centre.
A 1995 birth-year defenceman from the Canadian side of the International Bridge at Sault Ste. Marie, Caruso advanced to the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League in 2013-2014 after playing the 2012-2013 season with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Strong and rock solid at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Caruso also has a howitzer for a shot.
A somewhat-reckless style of play has cost Caruso time on the injury list the past couple of seasons but this a sturdy, puck-moving defender who should get a lot of looks from the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association recruiters in 2014-2015.
A youngster with a 1997 birth date, the hard-nosed defenceman from the Canadian side of the International Bridge crossed the St. Mary’s River to play for the Soo Indians major midgets in 2013-2014.
The 5-foot-11, 180 pound Barbeau captained the Indians to the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association state playdowns and was subsequently selected by the Michigan Warriors in the second of the 2014 NAHL draft.
Warriors coach Moe Mantha — who played in more than 650 NHL games as a journeyman defenceman — calls Barbeau “extremely coachable with a great attitude. He has a chance to be a really-good player.”
PHOTO: Centre Zack Dorval was selected by the Kingston Frontenacs from the Soo Thunder minor midgets at the 2014 Ontario Hockey League draft.