Last June, the Ducks made Joseph Cramarossa
their third round selection at the NHL Entry Draft. The 6-0, 190-pound center is already more than aware of his role at the next level and hopefully one beyond that will be that of a third or fourth line banger.
“You obviously need your goal scorers and your defensive play, but you also need those guys who can play both sides, be defensive while also throwing checks and contribute with secondary scoring,” Cramarossa said. “I’ve been trying to develop that type of game here in juniors. Be an energy guy, finish my checks and kill penalties.”
In his third season with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League, Cramarossa was forced to sit out all but one game in December after receiving a 10-game suspension for a hit to the head. He returned to the lineup December 30. He also missed 12 games in October and November with a shoulder injury.
In just 13 games this season before the suspension, Cramarossa had six goals and four assists along with 36 penalty minutes.
“I can’t really switch my game at this point but I need to be more conscious of it (hits to the head) and pick my spots. If a player has his head down, maybe rubbing him out instead of burying him. “I just need to be more careful with the new suspensions and concussion awareness but I don’t think it will change my game at all.”
Hockey is in his blood as his dad, Vito, was a former captain of the Toronto Marlies junior hockey team and was a sixth round selection of Washington in the 1984 draft. The elder coached his son through much of his youth hockey days.
The Toronto native also credits his former coach in Mississauga, Dave Cameron (now an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators), with much of his development to this point.
“He really transformed my game and taught me what it takes to get to the next level and be a professional. I’m bringing that to the younger guys now.”