Rocco Niccolas Grimaldi (born February 8, 1993) is an American professional ice hockey forward who currently plays for the Nashville Predators organization of the National Hockey League (NHL). Grimaldi was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
February 8, 1993|
Rossmoor, California, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
33rd overall, 2011|
At the age of five, Grimaldi started to play roller hockey in California. When he was first exposed to the game, he thought it looked more exciting than baseball. In 2005, Grimaldi and some of his family relocated to Michigan so that he could play against a better level of competition. As a youth, he played in the 2004 and 2005 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the California Wave minor ice hockey team, and in the 2006 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the Detroit Little Caesars team.
Grimaldi played AAA Hockey for Detroit Little Caesars during the 2008–2009 season, collecting 43 points with 17 goals and 26 assists in 31 games. 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.
During the 2010–11 season, he led Team USA in scoring with 34 goals and 28 assists in 50 games. 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. Grimaldi is not concerned about his size, and takes the questions about it in stride, "I think it’s fun." 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."
On May 7, 2014, Grimaldi signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers. In the 2014–15 season, Grimaldi made his professional debut with the Panthers AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. On November 1, 2014, he received his first NHL recall and made his NHL debut with the Panthers in a 2–1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers the following day. He was again called up to the Panthers on November 18, achieving the rare feat of playing two games in one day—a morning matinee with the 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).
On June 23, 2016, Grimaldi was traded by the Panthers to the Colorado Avalanche for goaltender Reto Berra. After attending his first training camp with the Avalanche, Grimaldi was reassigned to affiliate and former AHL club, the San Antonio Rampage, on September 30, 2016, to begin the 2016–17 season. After 19 games, Grimaldi was leading the Rampage in scoring with 15 points, when he received his first recall to Colorado on December 2, 2016. He made his Avalanche debut the following night in a 3–0 defeat to the Dallas Stars and was returned to the Rampage at the conclusion of the game.
On July 26, 2017, the Avalanche re-signed Grimaldi to a one-year, two-way contract. In the 2017–18 season, Grimaldi spent the majority of the campaign with the Rampage, where he recorded 31 points in 49 games. He played in a further 6 games in the NHL with the Avalanche, posting a goal and two assists and recording his second-career two-point game on October 28, 2017, against the Chicago Blackhawks.
As a group IV free agent, Grimaldi opted to leave the Avalanche and agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators on July 1, 2018.
|Representing United States|
|World Junior Championships|
|IIHF World U18 Championships|
|World U-17 Hockey Challenge|
Grimaldi was selected to the United States Under 18 team and helped the team win their second straight World Championship on April 10, 2010. 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.
Grimaldi was born in Anaheim, California. Grimaldi is a devout born again Christian. His father was a police officer in California. His mother was the Little Caesars AAA Hockey club team manager.
In July 2016, Grimaldi married Abigail (Abby) Mattson.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||64||14||28||42||22||3||1||0||1||4|
|2016–17||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||72||31||24||55||39||—||—||—||—||—|
|2017–18||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||49||15||16||31||32||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honorsEdit
|All-WCHA Rookie Team||2013|||
|WCHA All-Academic Team||2013|
|U17 WHC All-Star Team||2010|
|U17 WHC Most Assists||2010|
|U17 WHC Most Points||2010|
- "A homecoming for Panthers' Rocco Grimaldi". Sun-Sentinel. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- Greg Wyshynski. "Panthers pick Rocco Grimaldi's leap of faith at NHL Entry Draft". Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- "Rocco Grimaldi". NHL. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Where Will They Be?". Sports Illustrated. August 2, 2010: 126. Retrieved March 29, 2013. Cite journal requires
- "Grimaldi refuses to allow size to become an issue". Fox News. June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
- Kennedy, R. (May 3, 2011). "The Hot List: Growing up Grimaldi". The Hockey News. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- Schlossman, Brad Elliott (June 22, 2011). "Taking center stage". Grand Forks Herald. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
- Pronman, C. (2011). "Top 100 NHL Prospects". In Seppa, T. (ed.). Hockey Prospectus 2011–12. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-1-4663-4452-5.
- Switaj, Caryn (January 2011). "Rocco Grimaldi". USA Hockey Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2011. Cite journal requires
- "Rocco Grimaldi agree to entry-level contract with Panthers". Florida Panthers. May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- "Team USA alum makes NHL debut". United States Hockey League. November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Beacham, Greg (November 19, 2014). "Rocco Grimaldi plays AHL, NHL games on same day". Associated Press. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- "Panthers deal Grimaldi to Avs for Berra". The Sports Network. June 23, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
- "Avalanche make roster moves". Colorado Avalanche. September 30, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
- "Grimaldi gets his chance". Colorado Avalanche. December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Kari Lehtonen, Stars shutout Avalanche". National Hockey League. December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Avalanche signs Rocco Grimaldi, Jesse Graham". Denver Post. July 26, 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- "Predators sign forward Rocco Grimaldi to one-year contract". Nashville Predators. July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- "U.S. National Under-18 Team Tops Finland, 3–2, at 2010 Under-18 Four Nations Cup". USA Hockey. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- Lucas Aykroyd. "U.S. golden in Ufa!". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- Archuleta, Nadia (July 26, 2017). "Colorado Avalanche: All About Center Rocco Grimaldi". milehighsticking.com. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- "Grimaldi-Mattson". Grand Forks Herald. July 2, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- "WCHA All-Rookie Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.