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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5 Nations Cup Day 1: Rocco's a rockstar

Team USA forward Rocco Grimaldi made a splash in the opening game of the 5 Nations Cup with a hat trick and four points in his team's 6-2 victory over Sweden to open the annual February tournament that normally features some of the best draft-eligible talent in that following summer's NHL lottery. This year's Five Nations is being held in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

As for Grimaldi may be small, but he's got unreal skills and at least at every level to date, he's managed to put up big numbers.

Some scouts I've talked to love his upside even without the size, but others are leery of what he'll be able to do in the NHL because he does appear hindered at times when he tries to fight through traffic.

We'll find out in St. Paul just where he stands, because there is sure to be at least one of the NHL's 30 clubs that is convinced he can be a player at the highest level because of his pure talent and desire. We've mentioned it before, but the New Jersey Devils had faith in Brian Gionta back when the NHL draft was an unfriendly place for small players to hear their names called. With the league being what it is today, Grimaldi's wait on draft day should not be a long one, especially when he's getting it done against top international competition.

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