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Keith Petruzzelli had an outstanding season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL. He played in 35 games, putting up a 2.40 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. He went 22-10-1 with two shutouts. It was enough to get him on the USHL All-Rookie Team. He also played in the All-American Top Prospects Game, as well as the USHL Top Prospects Game this year. He was the MVP of the USHL game after stopping all 21 shots he faced.
Petruzzelli has also played for Team USA on the international stage. He appeared in one game at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament. Next year, Petruzzelli is committed to play NCAA hockey for the Quinnipiac Bobcats. His older brother D.J. Petruzzelli is a 20-year-old forward, who is also committed to attend Quinnipiac next season. The Moncton Wildcats own Petruzzelli’s CHL rights, should he change his mind.
Keith Petruzzelli Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #57
Goalie — Shoots Left — Catches Left
Born February 9th, 1999 — Wilbraham, Massachusetts
Height 6’6″ — Weight 190 lbs [197 cm / 86 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
Standing 6’6″ tall, Petruzzelli has the ideal size that NHL teams have been favoring when drafting goalie prospects. He covers a lot of net. With his good skating ability, he is able to come out to challenge shooters and further minimize the amount of net seen. When Petruzzelli drops down into his butterfly, his long legs take away much of the bottom of the net. His shoulders still reach the crossbar, and there is not a lot for a forward to look at. Petruzzelli also has a good glove and blocker.
Petruzzelli does have some areas to work on. Like many young goaltenders, he will need to improve upon his rebound control. He sometimes kicks pucks out into dangerous areas. He also needs to work on his puck tracking and side-to-side movements. Sometimes Petruzzelli can overslide on a cross-ice play. These issues are all fixable, and not that unusual to see in draft prospects.
Petruzzelli also plays the puck well, making passes to his defenceman to start the breakout. He can catch the opposing team on a line change and make a long pass to get an odd man rush. He loves to come out of his net to play the puck, and does so often. Petruzzelli often keeps the play moving even when he has a chance to cover up. He scored a goal this year, when he shot the puck all the way down the ice and into an empty net.
Petruzzelli’s general manager, former NHL goalie John Vanbiesbrouck has been impressed with his mental make-up. “I think he’s prototypical in the way he analyzes, and I think the biggest part of his advancement in his game is his mental approach,” he told NHL.com earlier this year. “He’s very set in what he does, has a really good approach to the game and can be loose about it in a good way. (Petruzzelli’s) able to put things behind him pretty well. He’s able to analyze himself rather than having someone else explain to him where he may be deficient.”
A bad goal does not fluster Petruzzelli. He bounces back quickly. Despite being a rookie, he was a leader and key player on the Lumberjacks. When bombarded with shots, he remained cool in the net, and ready to make the next save.
Projection and Comparison
Petruzzelli has the ability to be a number one goaltender in the NHL, but like most young goalies, he is a bit of a project. He could stand to spend some time in college refining his game and improving his physical conditioning and strength. After that, he will likely still need some AHL time. In terms of playing style, Petruzzelli’s game is reminiscent of Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a style comparison only though, and not one based on his talent level.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect available on our draft board.