By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on goaltender Keith Petruzzelli.
There's somewhat of an understanding when it comes to goaltenders in that it's accepted that it will generally take them longer to develop than their skating counterparts, particularly longer than forwards.
Then, when you add in a goaltender who is especially tall but not correspondingly heavy, the development arc takes a little bit more time.
Case in point is Keith Petruzzelli, who was 6-foot-5, 181 pounds when he was drafted in the third round, 88th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Petruzzelli wisely knew that he was going to need that extra time to develop and joined his older brother, D.J., at Quinnipiac University.
It took Petruzzelli a while to get accustomed to the academic and athletic workload as a student-athlete but as he prepares to enter his junior year, things are starting to come together.
Petruzzelli, who has grown to 6-foot-6, has managed to gain some weight on his lean frame by working throughout the summer with Jesh Patel, his strength coach at Quinnipiac.
Andrew Shortridge, who started the bulk of Quinnipiac's games the last couple seasons, signed with the San Jose Sharks, paving the way for Petruzzelli to grab the starting job and establish himself as one of the top goaltenders in the ECAC.
14 -- Petruzzelli played 14 games as a sophomore for the Bobcats, three shy of the 17 he played during the 2017-18 season.
2.42 -- The lanky netminder had a 2.42 goals-against average, which was an improvement from the 2.88 he had his freshman season.
.904 -- Petruzzelli also improved his save percentage, registering .904 last season after an .892 save percentage his first season at Quinnipiac.
37 -- On Dec. 8 at Massachusetts, Petruzzelli made a season-high 37 saves in a 3-1 loss to Massachusetts. He only allowed two of the goals as the third was an empty-netter.
5 -- Petruzzelli won his first five starts of the season, Oct. 13 at Vermont, Oct. 16 at home against Connecticut, Oct. 19 at home against Boston College, Oct. 27 at home against American International College and Nov. 2 at Harvard. Petruzzelli gave up a season-worst five goals on Nov. 10 against Union, where fellow Red Wings prospect Jack Adams plays. Adams did not score in that game.
3 -- Petruzzelli had three shutouts in his 14 games, 1-0 over Boston College on Oct. 19, 5-0 at Colgate on Nov. 17 and 2-0 at Maine on Nov. 24. They were the first shutouts of his college career.
8-3-0 -- After going 2-4-2 as a freshman, Petruzzelli had an 8-3-0 record as a sophomore.
Quotable: "Keith in two years' time has matured immensely, and that's both on the ice and off the ice personality-wise, with the coaching staff, both his coaching staff at Quinnipiac and with myself and (Wings goaltending coach) Jeff Salajko, being able to interact and discuss things pertaining to goaltending and life in general. He's come a long way in the strength department, still has a long way to go. This is a big year for Keith in the sense that it's his net to run with at Quinnipiac as Andrew Shortridge signed with San Jose. We love his athletic ability, his ability to ad lib in plays. It's just a matter of cleaning up his structure and skating and that has a little bit to do with strength. Once that strength kicks in and he adds muscle mass, his core strength picks up and the same thing with his leg strength, I think he'll be a little bit more stable in the technical department and also the skating department.
"For him, it just seems like and this is an observational standpoint, his body doesn't really obtain muscle the way others do. But that's okay. I'm sure he has a great metabolism and he just burns a ton of calories. From his standpoint, it's about maturing into that man figure and I think with the nutrition plan he's on with Lisa (McDowell, Wings dietician) here in Detroit and the strength plan that he has at Quinnipiac, that muscle will come in the next 3-4-5 years and hopefully that extra 15-20 pounds will be that factor that helps translate into his game. He's willing to work, he's willing to be an open mind now and put in the time that he needs to develop his game. So we expect big things out of him this year at Quinnipiac and I think that's going to be pivotal for him to get off to a great start." -- Brian Mahoney-Wilson, Red Wings goaltending development coach