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Ducks Lockout Prospect Report: Kyle Palmieri

Kyle Palmieri, All-Star AHL'er...but can that translate to the NHL?

Jeff Gross - Getty Images

Name: Kyle Palmieri

Age: 21; February 1, 1991

Position: RW

Hometown: Smithtown, NY

Draft Story: Drafted in 2009, first round (26th overall) to Anaheim.

How did he become a Duck? In August of 2010, the Ducks signed a 3-year entery level deal with Palmieri.

Where did the Ducks send him for the lockout? Norfolk Admirals, AHL

2011-2012 League & Team: Syracuse Crunch, AHL; 18 games with the Anaheim Ducks.

Extra hockey: Palmieri has seen plenty of extra hockey with the US National Team Development Program (U-17, U-18), United States World Junior Championships (2009-10, 2010-11) and the United States World Championship (2011-12) teams.

Key Stats Last Season: If Palmieri could find a way to translate his 58 points (33 goals, 25 assists) in 51 AHL games into a stat worthy of NHL games, he’s going to be a great addition to the Ducks line-up. In October of 2011, Palmieri’s hot scoring trend, which included an early season hat-trick, earned him AHL player of the week.

What do the scouts say about him, pros and cons: His size is always going to be an issue. He’s not very big at 5’11" (they’re lying to boost his ego). He’s got a great offensive tendency and reads hockey plays well. Palmieri is fast, good with the puck and knows how to stick handle in traffic. He’s definitely a scorer, but the question is, will that translate to the NHL? If it doesn’t, can he make as a bottom six forward energy player, or will his size limit him?

Is he a work-in-progress, future trade-bait, or a keeper? I still want to believe he’s a keeper. I’ve always had this problem with feeling like Palmieri’s attitude is what is hurting him the most. That he’s got too much of a chip on his shoulder to really make it big. I truly believe he’s got great talent. We see it every time he’s called up after having a great season in the AHL, but it never lasts long. I don’t know if he gets too comfortable and too relaxed, or if he is simply the odd man out at the end of it all. Or worse, if the size and speed of the NHL is just too much for him. Nevertheless, quality time and more than a handful of games in between flights will really show his true colors. I suppose the question is can he beat out younger talents like Devante Smith-Pelly and Emerson Etem? Edge out someone like Matt Beleskey? Or will he be here and gone like Dan Sexton?

Your excitement level for this kid joining the big club and why? I want to see him with the Ducks for as much of the season as possible. We need to know how he can handle the pressure and if he can become a regular NHL player. We know the kid is good at the college level and the AHL level, we don't need to evaluate him there any further. There is no doubting that this is one of Anaheim's key prospects, but it's time to put the money on the ice. No more wasting his talents in the AHL. He's not going to get any bigger and his style of game isn't going to mature into an NHL performer unless he's put on NHL ice! Hopefully this is where having someone like Bruce Boudreau is really going to help the younger Ducks generation blossom.