Last season was a lost season for University of North Dakota's highly regarded and talented freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi - his season was cut short by a knee injury, more specifically by a rather rare condition called bipartite patella.
Definition: A bipartite patella occurs when the patella, or kneecap, occurs as two separate bones. Instead of fusing together in early childhood, the patella remains separated. A bipartite patella is usually not a problem; it occurs in at least 1 percent of the population, and perhaps more.Rocc had season ending knee surgery to repair the aforementioned bipartite patella and is expected to be 100 percent to start the 2012-13 season.
In case anyone has forgot - this is what Rocco Grimaldi is going to add the UND hockey line-up. [Rocco Grimaldi's first collegiate goal against the Gophers]
I see Grimaldi as a top six forward that will bring an element of speed that UND hasn't seen in a very long time. Well, unless it was the Fighting Sioux playing against the Boston College Eagles in the NCAA Playoffs and we know how those games played out. When I think of small UND forwards, the name Jeff Panzer comes to mind.
I would compare Grimaldi to a Brian Gionta or a Nathan Gerbe type of players - very quick, smart and elusive type player that is going to be very dangerous when he gets behind the opposition's defense. I believe his speed is going to strike fear in the oppositions defenders and goaltenders.
Last season I had an opportunity to watch Rocco Grimaldi skate in practice – this was right before he made his season ending announcement that he needed to have season ending surgery to repair his bipartite patella – even at 75-80 percent, Grimaldi was an amazing skater that had an extra gear that we haven’t seen for a very long time.