… Chris Carrozzi.
Who, you might ask?
Carrozzi is a Winnipeg Jets prospect and a 2008 sixth-round draft pick (154th overall) of the former Atlanta Thrashers. He was assigned to the Colorado Eagles to start the season but wasn’t getting much playing time, appearing in only one of the Eagles’ first 17 games. Coincidentally, that game was a 6-2 victory by the Reign in Colorado on Nov. 5.
Reign coach Jason Christie said that the Jets will assign Carrozzi to Ontario and Dustin Carlson will back him up against the Stockton Thunder. Jean-Francois Berube remains sidelined by an upper-body injury and did not practice Tuesday; Christie said that Berube will resume skating tomorrow.
Not much stands out about Carrozzi on the surface. The 21-year-old was stuck with a 6.00 goals-against average in his only appearance this season. Last season, he backstopped 47 games for the Gwinnett Gladiators, going 16-20-2-4 with a 3.23 GAA, which ranked 21st in the league.
But considering the Gladiators missed the playoffs altogether, Carrozzi’s 2010-11 numbers — which included two shutouts — aren’t awful. His junior career with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors culminated with OHL Goaltender of the Year Honors in 2009-10, after a 19-10-5/2.36/.916 season. Carrozzi signed his entry-level contract with the Thrashers after that season.
Here’s one scouting report on Carrozzi, courtesy of hockeysfuture.com:
Carrozzi is big [alternately listed at 6-2 or 6-3] but has some trouble with lateral
movement and glove hand. His chief strength, aside from his obvious raw
talent and technical skills, is his ability to remain calm and appear
almost aloof regardless of the situation. Also should [sic] tremendous
perserverence in bouncing back from a disappointing 2008-09 season to
have an outstanding final year in junior.
Berube is still recovering after being struck with a puck in practice last Friday. The injury is not a concussion and is not related to his off-season hip surgery, but Berube isn’t expected to be available until this Friday at the earliest.
The only healthy goalie in practice Tuesday was Carlson, who is in his second stint with the Reign this season after being released and re-signed earlier this month. He’s made two appearances, both in relief and both on the road against Alaska (the one trip that Darcy Kuemper didn’t make). Carlson is 0-4-1 in seven career ECHL games with a 3.40 GAA.
Kuemper, who is 7-1-0 in eight starts for the Reign, was officially re-assigned by the Minnesota Wild to the AHL’s Houston Aeros today.
“Darcy Kuemper’s a good goaltender, but that’s what you have at this level,” Christie said. “You have good players — doesn’t matter where you are — you get called up and that’s well deserved. Whether it’s a goalie, D or forward, they all have opportunities. That’s what the NHL thinks of the East Coast League.”
Christie said he was not given a timetable on Kuemper’s stint in the AHL. “It’ll probably be a little while, though.”
It’s worth noting that Carrozzi becomes the fourth NHL-contracted prospect assigned to the Reign this season. Only Berube belongs to the Kings. Center Tristan King (Dallas) and Kuemper (Minnesota) are the others.