Wednesday, June 20, 2012
OHS grad Perks anxious for junior hockey career
Even after a torn ACL sidelined him just prior to last season, Perks didn’t sulk. Instead, he stayed with the Jets all season and went through extensive rehab to help heal his bum knee.
“Sitting out for a season was brutal, especially my first shot at junior hockey,” said Perks, who was drafted by Metro in the fourth round (52nd overall) of the 2011 NA3HL draft. “A lot of people told me it was a setback, but I thought it more as an opportunity to improve my game in all aspects and see hockey in a new perspective. I had some rough moments, but I needed to keep focus to make sure I have a positive comeback."
While he’s still not 100 percent, the Jets offered Perks a tender for this coming season and the 19-year-old signed it without hesitation.
”The docs and therapist said it’s a year-long recovery,” Perks said. “I’m cleared for contact, so I need to make sure I’m not doing anything stupid and focus on recovering. I haven’t played a true hockey game for a team in over a year. I couldn’t be more excited at this point to just be able to play hockey again.”
Oxford High School is getting a reputation for advancing kids on to juniors and college hockey. Perks said that playing for the Wildcats didn’t feel like a typical after-school activity.
”They have a great hockey program and each year, I always hear something new and exciting,” said Perks, who graduated from OHS in 2011. “I believe they love having fun, teaching the kids and making great memories. (Coaches) Dave (Hague) and Rick (Ignagni) treat you like adults and bring in some junior hockey mentality into the program, which helped me out a lot. I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn from that group of guys.”
Perks, who describes himself as a “talented forward who has finesse, but plays physical with a chip on my shoulder,” said he’s anxious for the 2012-13 season to get underway.
“I personally expect a lot out of myself,” said Perks. “I have talent and a good work ethic and there is no reason for me to fall behind even if I have missed a year.”