When the signing deadline came and went for college draft picks without a deal for Keith Petruzzelli, it wasn’t clear what the plan was for the towering goaltender. The Detroit Red Wings had picked him 88th overall in 2017 and he had played four seasons at Quinnipiac University. Normally that would mean he would be forced to turn pro, but he actually could have returned to school for a fifth NCAA season because of the extra year of availability granted after COVID-19 caused many schools to pause their programs.
That’s exactly what the Red Wings wanted Petruzzelli to do, according to a report from Scott Wheeler of The Athletic, but the 22-year-old was ready to test himself at the next level. He signed a two-year AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies, joining a Maple Leafs’ organization that is still searching for its “goaltender of the future.” The 2021 Hobey Baker finalist explained to Wheeler exactly why he chose Toronto to start his pro career and went in-depth on the struggles he has had to add weight to his 6’6″ frame in the past. There’s still a long way to go for the young netminder, but an NHL deal at some point down the road seems likely.
- Kevin Lowe, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2020 will have his No. 4 retired by the Edmonton Oilers on November 4. It’s fitting that the New York Rangers are in town on that night, as that’s the only other NHL team Lowe played for during his 19-year career. A veteran of 1,254 regular season games, Lowe was a core member of the Oilers teams that won five Stanley Cup championships in seven years and was still effective enough to help the Rangers take home the 1994 title at age-35. Lowe now serves as alternate governor for the Oilers after previously serving as head coach, general manager, and president of hockey operations for the club.
- The Washington Capitals have named Dr. Aimee Kimball as the senior director of team and organizational development. Kimball has spent the last 15 years in the NHL, including the last four years with the New Jersey Devils as director of player development. The Capitals explain that in her role, Kimball will provide “skilled direction and support in the areas of player development falling outside the standard skills (strength, and on-ice training).” As a mental training consultant, Kimball spent a decade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including during their championship seasons of 2009 and 2016. She also currently serves as a mental performance coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team as the prepare for the upcoming 2022 Olympics.