Former members of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, Jerry D'Amigo adn Kyle Palmieri are taking the next step in their already successful careers to pursue the NHL.
In addition to competing on the international stage, both D'Amigo and Palmieri enjoyed brief but successful collegiate careers, D'Amigo with Rensselear Polytechnic Institution (RPI) and Palmieri at the University of Notre Dame. Both completed their freshman season among their team's leading scorers.
Taken in the first round (26th overall) of the 2009 NHL draft by Anaheim, Palmieri has alraedy signed his entry-level contract with the Ducks. D'Amigo, who got drafted late (6th round) in the 2009 draft, will arrive at the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp this September and negotiations on an entry-level contract for the winder are expected soon.
Players coming out of the NTDP and other U.S Hockey programs to the NHL and other professional levels are not uncommon. With a record number U.S players taken in this years draft, USA Hockey intends to continue to develop high profile players like D'Amigo and Palmieri.
"We will continue to track the play and development of all players eligible for the World Juniors," said USA Hockey's Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations, Jim Johannson. "We have had great cooperation from the NHL teams in the past in making players available that are not with their NHL team. Our goal is to put the best team on the ice for the U.S."