ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)– The Rockford IceHogs will play three home games this week, giving us our first in-person look at all the new guys who were added at the trade deadline. One of them is forward Rocco Grimaldi who was picked up in a trade with the San Diego Gulls.

Grimaldi is one of the elite scorers in the AHL. This season he’s averaging better than a point a game, and he’s already set a career season high with 57 points.

“I’ve been playing at a good level, especially this past month,” said Grimaldi after a recent practice. “I feel like I’ve taken it to another level too. I’ve been doing a lot of good stuff on the ice and working off the ice trying to watch more video and figure some things out, and it’s helped a lot this month.”

Grimaldi’s 57 points this season rank seventh best in the entire AHL. His 27 goals tie him for second in the league.

“I’m 30 years old, but I feel like I’m 20, and I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me.”

For now the IceHogs hope Grimaldi has some good months ahead of him, so he can help them get into the Calder Cup playoffs and then do some damage in the playoffs. The IceHogs know well what Grimaldi can do. They used to face him all the time last season when he played for the Milwaukee Admirals. He averaged better than a point per game for them too.

“He’s a really, really good player at any level,” said IceHogs head coach Anders Sorensen. “I know myself I used to have nightmares about him the last couple years when he was in Milwaukee, and every time you were on the ice you hold your breath.”

Grimaldi has NHL experience. He has played in 203 NHL games scoring 67 points with the Panthers, Predators and Avalanche.

The IceHogs got him from San Diego for future considerations. He was one of several new additions at the trade deadline. Right now, Grimaldi is trying to develop chemistry with all of his new teammates ASAP.

“When I’m play with new guys, I try to look at how they play. What spots they’re typically in. I don’t need people to adapt to how I play. I can adapt to how they play. I think if you’re a really good player that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

“I’m here to help this team go as far as it can.”