TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — From the USHL to Quinnipiac University and then, hopefully, Grand Rapids to Detroit. Keith Petruzelli still has a long way to go before the NHL, but he’s made a great first impression with the Red Wings.
“It’s a great goal,” Petruzelli said. “(There is) a lot of work to do in the meantime but I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Red Wings selected Petruzelli in the third round of last month’s NHL draft at No. 88 overall.
“Obviously a surreal experience,” Petruzelli said of getting picked. “I know it’s kind of cliché to say I was speechless, but it’s really tough to put that feeling into words.”
Petruzzelli shined this past season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, posting a 22-10-1 record, a 2.4 goals against average, a .918 save percentage and two shutouts.
“I got a lot of texts from my billet family and a lot of people out this way,” Petruzelli said. “It’s great to see the support. They’re obviously really excited to have me back out this way.”
His 6-foot-6 frame — albeit at just 180 pounds — was easily noticeable at the Red Wings’ prospects camp this month, as was his play.
“It’s just great,” Petruzelli said. “It’s an honor to be here and I’m really excited.”
With the Red Wings future goaltending situation cloudy at best, the soon-to-be college freshman knows there may a great opportunity in Detroit down the road.
“A lot of hard work, lot time, lot of dedication,” Petruzelli said. “And we’ll see where the chips fall.”
The next big one may fall in Grand Rapids if the Red Wings send him to the Griffins.