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Avalanche Signs Grimaldi, Graham

The forward and defenseman ink one-year deals

by Colorado Avalanche @Avalanche /

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Rocco Grimaldi  and defenseman Jesse Graham each to a one-year contract for the 2017-18 season.

Grimaldi, 24, spent the majority of the 2016-17 season with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), where he led the club with 31 goals and 55 points (31g/24a) in 72 games. He also appeared in four games for the Avalanche, tallying one assist. Grimaldi's 31 goals with San Antonio tied him for third in the AHL and made him just the fifth 30-goal scorer in Rampage history.

Selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Grimaldi was acquired by Colorado on June 23, 2016. The Anaheim, California, native has appeared in 31 career NHL games with the Panthers and Avalanche, recording seven points (4g/3a). He also dressed in two playoff games for Florida (0g/0a). Prior to turning pro, Grimaldi played two full seasons at the University of North Dakota, tallying 77 points (31g/46a) in 86 games. He led the team with 39 points (17g/22a) in 42 games as a sophomore in 2013-14.

Internationally, Grimaldi helped Team USA win gold at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Russia, scoring two goals--including the game winner--in the final against Sweden. He was also part of the United States' gold medal-winning teams at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.

Graham, 23, split the 2016-17 campaign between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) in the New York Islanders' system. He recorded nine points (2g/7a) in 19 games for the Sound Tigers and 25 points (6g/19a) in 24 contests with the Mavericks.

Selected by the Islanders in the sixth round (155th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Graham played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2010-14, spending most of his time with the Niagara IceDogs. The Oshawa, Ontario, native was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team in 2010-11 and captained the IceDogs in 2013-14 before being traded to Saginaw. Graham made his professional debut with Bridgeport at the end of the 2013-14 campaign and has split time between New York's AHL and ECHL affiliates in each of the last three seasons.

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