Quaker Valley Hockey Standout Heading West

By Maxwell Rickard, Moon News Cloud Contributor

Quaker Valley senior James Perkins has some good news for goaltenders all over the area: he’s leaving.

Perkins signed a tender with the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League in Kenai, Alaska. Scouts from the team noticed Perkins when he was playing on a developmental team of the North American Prospects Hockey League.

“Kenai was the only team to show interest in me,” Perkins said over the phone. “I was very excited that I got the opportunity to show the team what I can add.”

Chances are he will add goals.

In the Pittsburgh Interscholastic Hockey League this year, Perkins had 43 goals and 29 assists in a mere 22 games. Those numbers were good for first place in goals and points for season, and third in assists in Varsity Class A.

“I want to learn as much as I can and develop as a player,” Perkins said. “I know that I can show them a small kid from a small school can succeed in hockey.”

All the learning and off ice work in isn’t going to be the only hard thing that Perkins is facing. He will have to move away from home, and live with a ‘billet’ or host family. These people will provide food and transportation to and from practices and games.

Luckily for Perkins, he isn’t the first in the family to experience such a dramatic change. Brothers Jeremy and Zach each played in Canada’s Ontario Junior Hockey League, which also required them to move away from home.

“They told me to push myself and prove that I am a player capable playing in this league. This is how we were taught to do things.” ended Perkins.

The roadway to the NHL does not stop there. Perkins main goal is to play top collegiate hockey after finishing his junior career. He will maintain his collegiate eligibility while playing in the NAHL.