RIT sophomore forward Steve Pinizzotto became the first player since the program moved to Division I in 2005 to leave early and sign a professional contract. Pinizzotto will sign with the NHL’s Washington Capitals on Monday and will report to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Tuesday. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
Pinizzotto led RIT in scoring with 44 points on 13 goals and 31 assists in 34 games. He also led RIT with 76 penalty minutes. Pinizzotto is currently fifth in the country with 0.91 assists per game and 12th in all of Division I, averaging 1.29 points per contest.
RIT finished 20-7-1 in Atlantic Hockey play, winning the regular season championship, and 21-11-2 overall this season. The Tiger offense finished second overall in the nation, averaging 3.88 goals per game, The RIT power play was also second in the nation, converting 24.4 percent of its chances. Pinizzotto scored eight goals and added 17 assists on the power play.
The 6′-2″ forward missed the first 11 games of his freshman season due to injury, but finished tied for fifth on the team with 18 points in 24 games. He had nine goals and nine assists.
Pinizzotto recorded 22 goals and 40 assists for 62 points in 58 career games for RIT. He also had 12 power-play goals and 112 penalty minutes.
RIT coach Wayne Wilson said he is happy that Pinizzotto will get a chance to play in the professional ranks.
“We are really excited for Steve to have an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing professional hockey,” said Wilson. “Steve was very instrumental in our team’s success and we are very proud of his accomplishments. We are surely going to miss Steve’s contributions here at RIT, but we fully support his decision and wish him the best of luck. Steve leaves RIT in great academic standing and will always be a part of the RIT Tiger hockey family.”