At just 5-foot-6, Rocco Grimaldi is not going to stand out in a crowd. Put that crowd on skates however, and you may not be able to keep your eyes off him.
"You come to the rink and he's the first guy you notice because of his speed," says Ron Rolston, Grimaldi's coach for the U.S. U-18 National Team Development Program (USNTDP).
Grimaldi is a blur from goal line to goal line, but it's his quickness in close quarters that separates him from the pack. For those measuring under ideal NHL size, speed, acceleration and agility are not just assets, they're a means of survival when hulking D-men close in for the kill. And Grimaldi hasn't just mastered the art of elusion, he's also using his top tool to exploit bigger, but slower skaters.
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