Rocco Grimaldi (Unsigned on NHL Level, Last Played in AHL)
Rocco Grimaldi is a prime example that you don’t have to be the most talented to take over a fanbase and get the crowd behind you.
Grimaldi last played in the NHL with the Predators in 2021-22, but hasn’t gotten NHL playing time with another team since. He was placed on waivers by the Predators in November 2021 and cleared, and then followed up the remainder with the Milwaukee Admirals with 52 points in 44 games.
No one is going to fault the Predators with moving on from Grimaldi when they did. The roster was starting to gradually be torn apart, and it was clear that some sort of a rebuild was in order.
Grimaldi at 5’6″ and 180 pounds to play in over 200 NHL games is simply remarkable and inspiring for any young player looking to play hockey but feels like they might be undersized. The guy left it all out there every shift and put up 67 NHL points.
Despite not playing in the NHL since leaving the Predators, Grimaldi has kept his hockey career going and found success. He put up 56 points for the San Diego Gulls of the AHL before being traded to Rockford where he added another 17 points.
Grimaldi exceeded over a point-per-game and didn’t let losing his NHL status hold him down. He then got the ultimate honor of represented Team USA at the 2023 IIHF World Championship where he again showcased his offensive abilities with seven goals and seven assists.
I’m not sure where Grimaldi lands next, but he was a pleasure to watch with the Nashville Predators and know he’ll find more success wherever he goes in the future.