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By The Numbers Prospects: Keith Petruzzelli

Former third-round pick shines as Quinnipiac's top netminder

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner /

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2019-20 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. 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.

Not many of us face a make-or-break situation regarding our careers at the ripe old age of 20, but for Red Wings goaltending prospect Keith Petruzzelli, he was teetering on that cusp as he entered his junior season at Quinnipiac last fall.

At the time he was drafted in the third round, 88th overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in Chicago, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound netminder was coming off an impressive season with the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks.

He was named to the USHL's All-Rookie Team by leading all first-year players with 22 wins to go along with a 2.40 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and two shutouts.

In the fall of 2017, Petruzzelli began his collegiate career at Quinnipiac with high expectations that he would be in the thick of the competition to win the starting job as the Bobcats No. 1 goalie.

However, the task of balancing academics and athletics proved to be difficult for Petruzzelli, who did not excel on the ice or in the classroom.

He persevered, but there was concern among officials at Quinnipiac and Detroit's brass that Petruzzelli might lack the discipline to reach his unlimited potential.

The Massachusetts native followed up his disappointing freshman season with a much better sophomore campaign, but he was still the Bobcats' backup goalie, which put his upcoming junior season under intense scrutiny.

Finally securing the starting job in net, Petruzzelli put together a breakout season, establishing many individual career highs and becoming one of college hockey's leading goaltenders.

For his efforts, he received the honor of being named Quinnipiac's Most Valuable Player.

Petruzzelli's play also propelled him back into the mix of perhaps someday becoming the Red Wings' netminder of the future.

Tweet from @QU_MIH: Our final team award is the Most Valuable Player Award. This guy was the backbone to a lot of our success for the 2019-20 season with career-highs across the board. Congrats to this year's MVP, Keith Petruzzelli! #BobcatNation

34 - Petruzzelli started all 34 games for the Bobcats, which was a career high. He appeared in 17 games as a freshman and 14 games as a sophomore.

21 - His 21 victories were also a career high. In his first two seasons at Quinnipiac, he won a total of 13 games, five as a freshman and eight during his sophomore year.

10-2 - Along with his 21 wins, Petruzzelli had 10 losses and two ties this season. He lost six games with two ties as a freshman and during his sophomore campaign, he suffered three losses without any ties.

2.01 - Petruzzelli's goals-against average was 2.80 in his freshman year and 2.42 as a sophomore. His 2.01 goals-against average this season was a career best and ranked 10th overall in college hockey.

3 - He matched his career high in shutouts this season with three. Petruzzelli also notched three shutouts as a sophomore after not blanking an opponent in his freshman year.

.920 - After struggling with a .892 save percentage in his freshman year, Petruzzelli improved his save percentage to .904 as a sophomore and established his career-best save percentage this season with a .920 mark.

Tweet from @QU_MIH: After two wins last weekend, Keith Petruzzelli picked up wins #20 and 21 this season to join Michael Garteig '16, Eric Hartzell '13, Bud Fisher '09 and Jamie Holden '05 as goalies to win 20 games in a season at the Division I level! #BobcatNation

18-4-2 - Quinnipiac was 18-4-2 when Petruzzelli allowed two or fewer goals and was 9-3-2 when he recorded at least 25 saves in a contest.

7-2-1 - Over the final 10 games of the year, he was 7-2-1 with a 1.40 goals-against average, a .943 save percentage and two shutouts.

.667 - His winning percentage of .667 ranked 12th overall in college hockey.

88 - The Red Wings selected Petruzzelli as the 88th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He is the third player the Wings have chosen 88th overall in the draft. In 1980, Detroit selected right wing Mike Corrigan with the 88th pick and in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Wings nabbed center Joakim Andersson 88th overall.

Quotable: "Keith had a really good bounce-back year this year, good for him. I think for Keith, when we drafted him, we had a really physically and mentally immature player. He had no idea what it took to be a pro, he had no idea what eating habits, workout habits, sleeping habits (he needed). There was a lot for him to work on and to his credit, he's starting to figure that out and he's starting to put the time in and he's starting to mature and he's starting to do the necessary things it takes to become a solid goaltender. He's getting results because of it. Kudos to him for being able to do that. Obviously this is just the start, there's a long ways for him to go but he's moving in the right direction." - Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development and assistant director of player personnel

Tweet from @QU_MIH: Check out this clip as Keith Petruzzelli, Wyatt Bongiovanni and Skyler Brind'Amour all got some great mentions on the Detroit broadcast last night during the Red Wings/Hurricanes game! #BobcatNation

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