For the first time Seal Beach and Rossmoor natives have been drafted as NHL prospects. However, both are struggling from the effects of injuries.
The year started out strong for Rocco Grimaldi, 19, of Rossmoor. He was drafted 33rd in this year’s NHL draft by the Florida Panthers, was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association preseason rookie of the year and was recently ranked fifth among college freshman forwards by InsideCollegeHockey.com. But a knee injury could seriously affect his season with the University of North Dakota. According to the GrandForksHerald.com, Grimaldi will be out for at least six weeks and may require surgery for his knee and may miss the 2012 World Junior Championship.
Mitch Wahl, 21, of Seal Beach was drafted 48th by the Calgary Flames in 2008. Playing for the Spokane Chief’s of the Western Hockey League. Wahl won the Memorial Cup in 2008, was an All Star and played for the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
However, Wahl suffered a bad concussion last season. According to lfpress.com, Wahl has recovered but is struggling to play as well as he did before the injury, and he is currently playing for the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
Editor’s Note: If you know of any local athletes that have gone on to college or professional sports that you would like profiled in Patch’s alumni report, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.