Rocco Grimaldi

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Rocco Grimaldi
Rocco Grimaldi Team USA 2011.jpg
Born (1993-02-08) February 8, 1993 (age 21)
Rossmoor, CA, USA
Height 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Right
NHL team Florida Panthers
NHL Draft 33rd overall, 2011
Florida Panthers
Playing career 2014–present
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2013 Ufa
IIHF World U18 Championships
Gold 2010 Belarus
Gold 2011 Germany
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
Gold 2010 Ontario

Rocco Niccolas Grimaldi (born February 8, 1993) is an American ice hockey player who currently plays for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Grimaldi was drafted by the Panthers in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.[1] At the age of five, Grimaldi started to play roller hockey in California. In 2005, Grimaldi and some of his family relocated to Michigan so that he could play against a better level of competition.

Playing career[edit]

Grimaldi played AAA Hockey for Detroit Little Caesars during the 2008–2009 season, collecting 43 points on 17 goals in 31 games.[2] He then played two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program against junior teams in the United States Hockey League. During the 2009–10 season, Grimaldi led the United States Under 17 national team in scoring with 40 points in 36 games.[3] He was then promoted to the Under 18 team and helped the team win their second straight World Championship on April 10, 2010.[3] In the gold medal game versus Sweden, Grimaldi had one goal and one assist as the United States triumphed by a 3–1 mark. Rocco Grimaldi scored twice vs. Finland on Friday, November 12 at the 2010 Men's Under-18 Four Nations Cup.[4]

During the 2010–11 season, he led Team USA in scoring with 34 goals and 28 assists in 50 games.[5][6] Grimaldi was eligible to be drafted into the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2011. Prior to the draft, there were concerns about his size. At 5'6", he is smaller than most NHL players.[5] Grimaldi is not concerned about his size, and takes the questions about it in stride, "I think it’s fun."[7] The 2011–12 Hockey Prospectus ranked Grimaldi as its #36 best hockey prospect noting that he "overcomes his diminutive size with off the chart intangibles and physical ability."[8]

Grimaldi committed to the University of North Dakota and entered his freshman season for UND in the 2011–12 season.[9] He was a member of Team USA's Gold Medal team at the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, scoring two goals, including the game winner, in the championship game vs. Sweden.[10]

On May 7, 2014, Grimaldi signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.[11] He was called up to the Panthers on November 18, achieving the rare feat of playing two games in one day—a morning matinee with the San Antonio Rampage, and another with the Panthers that evening (the morning game, coupled with the Panthers playing on the West Coast that evening and thus played three hours later than usual, allowed Grimaldi the time to travel to the second game).[12]

Personal life[edit]

Grimaldi was born in Rossmoor, California. He started playing organized hockey when he was five. When he was first exposed to the game, he thought it looked more exciting than baseball. Grimaldi is a devout born again Christian.[1] His father was a former police officer in California. His mother was the Little Caesars AAA Hockey club team manager.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 U.S. National Development Team USHL 32 11 9 20 22
2009–10 U.S. National Under-18 Team USDP 26 7 16 23 12
2010–11 U.S. National Development Team USHL 23 12 13 25 18
2011–12 University of North Dakota WCHA 4 1 1 2 2
2012–13 University of North Dakota WCHA 40 13 23 36 18
2013–14 University of North Dakota NCHC 42 17 22 39 48
NCAA totals 86 31 46 77 68

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-WCHA Rookie Team 2012–13
  • U17 WHC All-Star Team (2009–10)
  • U17 WHC Gold Medal (2009–10)
  • U17 WHC Most Assists (2009–10)
  • U17 WHC Most Points (2009–10)
  • 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships Gold Medal (2009–10)
  • USHL All-Star Game (2010–11)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Greg Wyshynski. "Panthers pick Rocco Grimaldi’s leap of faith at NHL Entry Draft". Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Rocco Grimaldi". NHL. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Where Will They Be?". Sports Illustrated. August 2, 2010. p. 126. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ "U.S. National Under-18 Team Tops Finland, 3-2, at 2010 Under-18 Four Nations Cup". USA Hockey. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Grimaldi refuses to allow size to become an issue". Fox News. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, R. (May 3, 2011). "The Hot List: Growing up Grimaldi". The Hockey News. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  7. ^ Schlossman, Brad Elliott (2011-06-22). "Taking center stage". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  8. ^ Pronman, C. (2011). "Top 100 NHL Prospects". In Seppa, T. Hockey Prospectus 2011-12. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-1-4663-4452-5. 
  9. ^ Switaj, Caryn (January 2011). "Rocco Grimaldi". USA Hockey Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Lucas Aykroyd. "U.S. golden in Ufa!". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Rocco Grimaldi agree to entry-level contract with Panthers". Florida Panthers. 2014-05-07. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  12. ^ Beacham, Greg (2014-11-19). "Rocco Grimaldi plays AHL, NHL games on same day". Associated Press. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 

External links[edit]