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Getting To Know: Nick Palmieri

by Mike Doyle / Minnesota Wild

The Wild recently acquired forward Nick Palmieri along with Stephane Veilleux and Kurtis Foster from the New Jersey Devils. With this being Veilleux and Foster’s second stint in the State of Hockey, thought it would be a good idea for Minnesota fans to get to know Palmieri a little bit better. The Utica, New York native is 22 years old and was selected in the third round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. What was it like growing up, playing hockey in New York as a kid?

It was great. I was, actually, one of the last kids out of my group of friends to start playing, so I had to beg my parents to let me play. Once they did I never stopped enjoying it. I made a lot of friends playing youth hockey in New York and a lot of people I still talk to today. You said you were a late starter, what drove you to want to play the game?

Palmieri: When I started going to school all my friends were playing and it was just something I had to push for from my parents because no one in my family had played hockey before, so it was something new for them. Luckily, they allowed me to play and since then I haven’t stopped. Seems like it worked out pretty well for you.

Palmieri: Yeah, I think now, obviously then they didn’t expect this. But it’s one of those things, I had to push to get into it, but once I got into it, my parents really started to enjoy the game. My dad probably knows more about hockey than I do now. Who were the biggest influences on your career growing up?

Palmieri: Definitely my parents. They made a lot of sacrifices, both their time and financially in order for me to play, so I owe them a lot and try to repay them as much as I can. Coming over to Minnesota, what have been you’re impressions of the State of Hockey so far?

Palmieri: It seems like a great place to play. Similar to what I’m used to, as far as climate, growing up in Upstate New York. So far, I’m really enjoying it here. So your last name, Palmieri, is that Italian descent?  

Palmieri: I am, on my dad’s side. But I’m kind of all over the map as far as ethnicity, so I have a little bit of everything, I’d say. But the last name is definitely Italian. Do you have any family customs?

Palmieri: Yeah, we do. We do the Christmas Eve Italian meal with all the fish. Both my grandparents are really good cooks and I’m really lucky to have all four grandparents on both sides still living so it’s fun to get together with all four of them. If you weren’t playing hockey what would you be doing?

Palmieri: If I wasn’t playing hockey I’d probably be working for my dad. He does construction, so I spent a couple summers doing some work for him. It wasn’t the most fun I’ve had, let’s just say that.
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