Mar 16, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri (51) passes the puck defended by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi (7) during the second period at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Palmieri Is A Head Turner

Mar 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri (51) celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

21-year-old Kyle Palmieri has been turning heads in the hockey community since he joined the United States National Development Program.  Palmieri was plucked for the 2007-2008 season.  The Smithtown, New York native played 32 games his first season with the National Team netting 15 goals and 10 assists for a total of 25 points.

During his second season with the National Development Program, he played in only 5 games putting up 2 points.  Palmieri jumped from the program that played in the NAHL at the time to the squad that played at the international level.   From there he played in 33 games on the International Team putting up impressive numbers with 15 goals and 15 helpers for a total of 30 points.  During his time with the US National Team, he captured the bronze medal in the 2008 U-18 IIHF tournament in Kazan.  In the same year, he obtained the silver with the U-17 squad.  He also notched a hat trick in the 2008 Five Nations Tournament in Finland in the gold medal game over the host nation to help his team achieve gold.

Palmieri used his time with the US National Team to his advantage which pushed Anaheim to select him in the 1st round, 26th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.  The 5’11” right-winger shared his thoughts on his draft year saying, “ If anyone looks back at my draft year it had its share of ups and downs, but coming into the draft I knew I could have been picked anywhere from 1st round to 7th round.  On draft day, you go in there hoping someone picks you and I was lucky enough to be picked up by the Ducks.”  Palmieri went on to say, ” it’s been an awesome organization to be a part of.”

After being drafted by the Ducks, Palmieri split from the US National Team for South Bend, Indiana home of the Fighting Irish.  Kyle joined the Fighting Irish men’s hockey team that competes in the CCHA. Palmieri only laced up the skates for 33 games with Notre Dame in the 2009-2010 season.  In those 33 games, he tallied 17 points.  When asked what made him jump from the college ranks to the pro ranks after one season Palmieri responded, “making the switch to pro hockey is something you grow up dreaming about.   When I got the opportunity to sign with the Ducks, they were going through a little bit of a transition as far as a new AHL team so I defiantly saw an opportunity to step in the league and earn my spot at the pro ranks. We had 11 or 12 rookies there my 1st year in Syracuse so everyone had a fair shot.  I was lucky enough to play well to get myself some minutes in a couple NHL games that year.”

He also brought home the gold medal in the 2010 WJC’s beside former Admiral Tyler Johnson when he was loaned to the U-20 USA National Team to play in the WJC’s.   When describing how it felt to win the gold medal Palmieri declared, “It was awesome.  It’s definitely one of the moments in my hockey career I can look back on.  A World Championship at any level is pretty honorable.  It was a real exciting game for people who were watching it. To be a part of it was something special and looking back, it was one of my fonder memories playing hockey.”

Kyle jump started his pro career with the Syracuse Crunch during the 2010-2011 season playing in 62 games and fell one goal short of the 30-goal plateau. He led the Crunch in goals and points with 56 during his rookie campaign.  Palmieri was chosen to the 2011 AHL All-Star game where he picked up an assist.   Midway through the 2010-2011 season, he was called upon to make his NHL debut with the Ducks.  Palmieri suited up for 10 games with the Ducks and scored his first NHL goal in his 1st NHL tilt vs. Tampa Bay.  He was even named AHL Rookie of the Month for March and was chosen as AHL Player of the Week twice while he was the new kid on the block for the Ducks.  Again, Palmieri was loaned to the U-20 WJC team from the Ducks for the 2011 WJC’s.  Palmieri scored the bronze medal as he did in 2008 with the U-18 USA National Team; this time with current Admiral Emerson Etem as a teammate.  Among his accomplishments, Palmieri even made his playoff debut with the Ducks in their post season run when he dressed in game 3 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals against Nashville.

There would be no sophomore slump for Palmieri.  He picked up right where he left off scoring a hat trick against St. Johns and being elected as the AHL Player of the Week.  He was chosen to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2012 AHL All-Star game where he netted a goal and notched an assist.  The young New York native again led the Crunch in goals with 33 and was tied for third in the league for scoring in 2011-2012.  During the season, the 195-pound winger found himself playing in his second consecutive AHL All-Star game.  Every young hockey player’s dream is to play in the NHL and Palmieri played in 18 games while totaling 7 points of which 4 were goals and 3 were assists during the 2011-2012 season.  Two of those goals fell on the same night against the Red Wings.

Although the Ice Caps defeated the Crunch in the 1st round of the playoffs, Palmieri scored a goal in his AHL playoff debut with the Crunch.  During the off-season, Kyle represented the United States one more time playing in the 2012 IIHF World Championships.  He played in 7 games and scored 2 goals and 2 assists along side Admiral Ryan Lasch who also played in the World Championships that year.

With an affiliation change over the summer, the 21-year-old dropped anchor in Norfolk with the Admirals due to the work stoppage in the NHL.  The offensive talent has not let this lockout affect his game.  Kyle has 4 points in 4 games this season with the Admirals.  This makes anyone who is familiar with hockey blink twice.


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