Grimaldi Signs With Florida

UND sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi has signed with the Florida Panthers, giving up his final two years of college eligibility.

It is a three-year deal with the Panthers, who drafted him in the second round in 2011.

Here’s a quick file story on the Herald’s site, including a couple of quotes from Grimaldi.

Grimaldi is the seventh NCHC player to turn pro early this offseason.

NCHC early signings

Colorado College (1)
Gustav Olofsson, fr, d, Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Duluth (1)
Caleb Herbert, jr, f, Washington Capitals

Nebraska Omaha (2)
Josh Archibald, jr, f, Pittsburgh Penguins
Jaycob Megna, jr, d, Anaheim Ducks

North Dakota (1)
Rocco Grimaldi, so, f, Florida Panthers

St. Cloud State (1)
Ryan Faragher, jr, g, Anaheim Ducks

Western Michigan (1)
Jordan Oesterle, jr, d, Edmonton Oilers

27 Responses

  1. Kyle

    Disagree with the majority I guess. He appeared to make plays that a lot of his linemates simply were never ready for and I think he’ll adjust accordingly at the next level. Good for him!

  2. Chad

    He was fun to watch and will be missed. They are still a young bunch and don’t have anyone that can touch his playmaking ability. That said, I don’t think he will get a sniff of the NHL next year. Not unless he greatly improves his shooting skills.

  3. Paul T

    Congrats to Rocco! He will be missed with his electricity he added each time on the ice. Think he will adjust well to the pros since hes not going to grow any taller he already has the speed and vision to compete at a pro level.

  4. Ryan

    Hard to say that he was ready and think he will have a tough time cracking an NHL lineup. Rocco was a fun guy to watch but I don’t think he is really that big of a loss. He seemed to be a tough guy to play with as he was always flying around all over the place. I wish him the best of luck but am pretty confident that Sioux will have a very strong year next season even with his departure.

  5. WWPKD

    Could be worse. Gothberg and more importantly Schmaltz are sticking around. I hope he goes on to NHL glory and yada yada yada but in my opinion his odds are better to win the Preakness in a few weeks than ever play any significant time in the NHL

    1. Sioux Tang Clan

      Exactly. Schmaltz and Gothberg resigning were more important. Grimaldi wows the social fans. Best of luck to him but can’t help but think he sold himself short for $$$ upfront. If his family could afford to put him through high end hockey camps and relocate him to Michigan for youth leagues, they probably could afford an insurance policy in case he got injured before he collected his first check. At least my Gopher fan friends can no longer mock me for our marquee player being a bible banger.

  6. Crosby

    All the critics are out today. Must be lots of scouts who are checking in here today. It seems to me that, you know, the Florida organization thinks he can play pro. Maybe some of you should call them and tell them that they are wrong. It would have been nice to have him around another year or two but that is how it goes. Good luck Rocco.

    1. Ryan

      Most people are just saying they don’t see him in the NHL anytime soon and it could be that Florida doesn’t either. They probably wanted to sign him because if they didn’t this offseason they could risk losing him to free agency. They also may see him as an AHL player and that is fine because every franchise needs those too. I don’t think anyone is wishing Rocco any ill will but just stating some very realistic reasons as to why they think his decision may have not been the best if he thinks he will be in the NHL quick and who knows maybe he just wanted to be sure he could sign the contract and get the money and isn’t real worried about playing in the AHL next season.

    2. OneSioux

      Hey, just cause an NHL team signed him away from college early doesn’t mean he is ready for the NHL (see Hextall, Brett or Gregoire, Jason for recent examples ). I wish him the best of luck too, but I would have rather had another year or two of him at UND. We’ll see how it pans out.

  7. northdasotan

    Gramaldi is a great kid and I wish him nothing but the best. I hope to watch him in the NHL sooner rather then later. He has showed at camps to be an elite player, he has proved to be an elite player at every level he has played at. Truthfully the only thing holding him back is his size and I hope he proves the nay sayers wrong.

    1. WWPKD

      Calling him an “elite player” at the DI level is being a little generous wouldn’t you say?

      1. Crosby

        He led an elite team with elite players in scoring, so I don’t know , what would you call him?

      2. northdasotan

        I should have worded that differently. He has shown at every level he has played at to be an elite player amongst everybody else he played with or against. I would have loved to see him stay but the size of his contract and the team he is going to, it would be hard for anybody to turn down.

  8. nd

    No way is he seeing NHL ice anytime soon. Percentage of goals to shots on net are way to low. He needs to improve in shooting. Five bucks he will be sitting somewhere in two years telling the camera how he should have stayed at ND.

  9. Sioux Fan 3.0

    Well Rocco, of course I am disappointed that you are not returning to my beloved Fighting Sioux next year but I am sure you have your own reasons. It has been a pleasure watching you tear it up out there and I wish you well in your future endeavors! Once a Sioux, always a Sioux! Thanks for the memories. Good Luck

  10. blue bird

    Mr. Grimaldi – I wish you the very best. You were a gentleman off the ice and I hope you continue to work hard and use the talent that is your gift. Godspeed young man.

  11. Isn’t he a born again christian? Any chance that he got tired of the drinking and stealing that landed teammates in trouble with the law? Anybody know? I have no idea, but it doesn’t seem that far fetched.

    1. Viking1

      Hey Bucky!! Not sure, but there’s also a good chance he didn’t approve of all the team visits to your mum’s house. Way to sabotage the team….. 🙂

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