North Dakota leading scorer Grimaldi forgoes last two seasons, signs with Florida

Rocco Grimaldi had 31 goals and 77 points in 86 games in two-plus seasons at North Dakota (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

North Dakota sophomore forward Rocco Grimaldi has signed an entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers and will forgo his final two years of collegiate eligibility.

The Panthers selected Grimaldi, who finishes his collegiate career with 31 goals and 46 assists for 77 points and a plus-22 rating in 86 games, in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2011 NHL draft.

Grimaldi led North Dakota in points (39) and goals (17) in 42 games in 2013-14 – career-highs in both categories. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 NCAA Midwest Regional in Cincinnati after recording his first collegiate hat trick in UND’s semifinal win over Wisconsin.

In 2012-13, Grimaldi was named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team after leading all WCHA rookies in points (36) and assists (23).

Grimaldi’s initial freshman campaign at UND in 2011-12 was cut short after just four games due to a season-ending knee injury.