Panthers select Rocco Grimaldi at 33rd in 2011 NHL Entry Draft



Who is Rocco Grimaldi?
Rocco Grimaldi was born in Anaheim, CA, and has spent the past two seasons with the United States National U17 and U18 teams. He's won gold medals with the States in 2010 in the U18 world championship, scoring ten points (2G/8A) in seven games, and won gold again in the U18 World Championships this season with eight Points (2G/6A) in six games. He'll be playing with North Dakota next season.

What the scouts say:

Rocco dropped in some rankings during the course of the season. TSR remained high on him due to his intangibles in leadership and hockey sense. Rocco always seems to have the puck on his stick whether he’s moving it out of his zone or anticipating the play defensively. His smooth skating and vision along with above average passing skills should translate well as he progresses. - The Scouting Report

The 2011 NHL Draft gives hockey fans a glimpse into the future of what their favorite teams will look like. While many of these names may not be recognizable and may take a few years to develop and face a tough road through the minors, the most successful NHL franchises get built through the draft.

Let’s get it out of the way early. Yes, Grimaldi is 5-foot-6. Let the Brian Gionta/ Martin St. Louis comparisons commence.

But if he can become the scorer that Gionta or St. Louis have been during their careers, then I doubt people will mind his size. Grimaldi had 30 goals and 62 points with the USA U-18 team last season and has that gritty element that have made both of them so successful. - The Bleacher Report

Awards and honors:

  • 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)

My Opinion

If Tyler Ennis can be the future of the Buffalo Sabres, then Rocco Grimaldi can be part of the Florida Panthers bright future. Yes, he is a small player, but he has fantastic skills, hockey sense, and work ethic. Grimaldi has a bright future in Florida, and should develop into a fine top six forward.

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