While the Anaheim Ducks deal with what’s turning into an ugly contract situation with restricted free agent Bobby Ryan, they’re going about their own business and putting some pressure on Ryan to get into camp. The team announced the signing of 2009 first round pick Kyle Palmieri to a three-year entry-level contract.
Palmieri is a quick, skilled winger with a deft scoring touch who spent last year playing college hockey at Notre Dame. Palmieri was also a member of the gold medal-winning team at the 2010 World Junior Championships. At Notre Dame last year, Palmieri, a freshman, had nine goals and eight assists on a team that struggled mightily to score goals all year. Palmieri was also dealing with a team that was loaded with upperclassmen. He scored the same number of points as fellow freshman and 2010 first round pick of the Red Wings, Riley Sheahan.
At 5’10” 191, Palmieri will likely challenge for a job with the Ducks right away and with Bobby Ryan’s contract situation continuing to hang in the air, Palmieri’s shot to make it with the team gets even better. The Ducks roster for wingers next year looks a bit scary with or without Ryan, so taking a shot with Palmieri can’t hurt. At the very least, he ends up being a very high profile player at Anaheim’s AHL team in Syracuse, but don’t bank on that happening right away.