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Panthers sign World Juniors hero Grimaldi

May 7, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

Rocco Grimaldi AP

The Florida Panthers have come to terms on an entry-level contract with 21-year-old forward Rocco Grimaldi, the University of North Dakota product they drafted 33rd overall in 2011.

“We are very pleased to have reached a contract agreement with Rocco,” said Panthers GM Dale Tallon in a release. “He is a hard-working forward who possesses speed along with great vision on the ice. We look forward to his continued growth and development within our organization.”

Grimaldi helped Team USA to gold at the 2013 World Juniors, scoring the game-winner in the deciding game against Sweden.

Listed at just 5-foot-6 and 172 pounds, Grimaldi is small in stature, but he still managed to pile up 77 points in 86 college games.

  1. purpleguy - May 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Even the Gophers pushed this little guy around — not sure his size translates to NHL success.

    • shaundre93 - May 8, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      In this day and age it seems foolish to count any small man out but yeah, I think he’s definitely facing an uphill battle. But when Brad Marchand is way out of your weight class…

  2. longcutskolvikes - May 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    I’m just surprised that a guy who doesn’t drink lasted in Grand Forks for 3 years.

  3. fightingwild - May 8, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Despite being small he still was almost a point a game player for his college career. Despite that horrible leg injury he had as a freshman. Who knows if he will make it in the big leagues but at least he has a shot.

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