Monday, June 13, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Rocco Grimaldi #27

By Eldon MacDonald

27. Rocco Grimaldi - “Mighty Mouse” - C - USA

Vitals: Size - 5’6”, 163 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 8-Feb-93 - Rossmoor, CA
2010-11 Stats: 50-34-28-62-57 + U18 6-2-6-8-6-(+5)
10 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
10 - McKeen's June Top 30
15 - ISS per TSN
10 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
14 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
17 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
18 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
19 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
22 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
23 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
32 - The Hockey News per TSN
25 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
27 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
37 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (32nd North American skater)
Draft result:
33 - Florida Panthers

Skip the details, here is the big picture. Rocco Grimaldi has all the skills (hard and soft) that you would ever want in a hockey player, top 10 for sure, maybe even top 5. There is just one tiny problem with Rocco Grimaldi, he is tiny at 5’6’’, 163 lb. Worse, he is ripped - meaning that he is unlikely to get any bigger than his current size - what you see is what you get. So the debate is over how much will his lack of size affect his performance in the NHL and also his ranking come draft day. The most definitive answer to the first question comes from the player himself. This is what Rocco Grimaldi told, "If ever I lose a battle in the corner with a big guy, it's not because he's bigger or stronger than me, it's because I did something wrong and he just took advantage. I didn't get in or get out quick enough. It really makes no difference to me how much a guy weighs. I'll go in there no matter what because if I'm not willing to do that, then my teammates wouldn't be able to rely on me and I definitely want them to be able to rely on me at all times." In other words, just watch me, I will succeed no matter what the obstacle is in my way. Since that is the way Rocco has succeeded so far in his life, I would bet upon him being a success in the NHL. The answer to the second question is not quite so easy since it involves 30 questions (each of the clubs). My take is that it will require a pretty confident and competent general manager to take Rocco Grimaldi as their first pick in the draft. Having said that, I don’t see him falling past Tampa in the draft which is why I have him 27th.

So, now that we have discussed the big picture, let’s fill in the details.
  1. Background - a native Californian, Rocco and his family moved to Michigan when he was 12 so he could further his hockey career.
  2. Hockey resume -
    1. 2009 USA Hockey Youth Tier 1 (18 and Under) - National Champion with Little Caesar’s
    2. 2009 U17 Four Nations Cup - first place with Team USA and tournamant’s top forward
    3. 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge - first place with Team USA and tournament all-star
    4. 2010 U18’s Four Nations Cup - First place with Team USA and tournament’s top forward and top point getter
    5. 2010 U18’s Worlds - Gold Medal with Team USA
    6. 2011 U18 Five Nations Tournament - first place with Team USA
    7. 2011 U18’s Worlds - Gold Medal with Team USA
  3. Hard skills -
    1. Skating - electrifying - all the gears, high-end speed and agility
    2. Shooting - wrister or slapper - power, release and accuracy
    3. Stick-handling - the proverbial phone booth type skills
    4. Passing - sublime, makes those around him look better
    5. Face-offs - top notch
  4. Soft skills -
    1. Hockey sense - To the moon, Alice, to the moon!!!
    2. Leadership - Leads by example, never stops hustling and moving his feet, battles for every inch of space
    3. Work ethic - Just check out some of his Combine results in the strength testing and you will see why he is at the top in this category
    4. Heart - As you tell from his comments above, Rocco is prepared to give it his all, all the time.
So it is down to the wait - the rankings vary between 10 and 37 and all are valid as no one knows how much his size will factor into the decision on when to take him at the draft.


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