ECHL: An Interview With Adirondack Thunder Captain Patrick Grasso

Patrick Grasso comes from a hockey family, and that was one of the factors that helped him get into the game, “My dad played, he moved to Des Moines to play Junior Hockey there and ended up meeting my mom there, they settled down there, and it’s kinda a family game, I got a couple of uncles that played at a pretty high level, I just got into it that way” said Grasso. The 27-year-old winger would spend four-plus years playing in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, for the Des Moine Buccaneers, where he put up 43 goals and 63 assists for 106 points in 196 games before heading off to five years of college hockey at the University of New Hampshire where he would put up 49 goals and 48 assists for 97 points in 138 games. Grasso mentioned how much he loved being a Wildcat, “I love UNH, everything about it. I fell in love with it as soon as I got there, and it’s a part of me,” said Grasso.

The Iowa native is in his third season with the Thunder and has put up 76 goals and 53 assists for 129 points in 161 games with the Adirondack and is coming off a career year in which he put up 37 goals in 64 games with the Thunder. In the ECHL, most guys who end up leading their team in scoring end up getting the call-up to the AHL or signing overseas, but Grasso decided to come back to Adirondack for another season, “It’s been awesome; it’s become a second home for me, I love the people here it reminds me a lot of Iowa in term of people and stuff, but it’s been awesome, I have nothing but good things to say about this place” said Grasso when talking about Adirondack. Earlier this year passed James Henry for sole possession in franchise goals and sits just one goal back of tying Brian Ward for most goals in Adirondack Thunder history, “That’s a testament to guys I play with like Harper and Smitty {Ryan Smith} guys who have been around for three years now and like I said it’s a nice testament to them. Obviously, It’s a nice accolade, and the individual stuff is always nice. Still, we have a really special group here, and we’re taking this one day one step at a time and trying to do something special as a unit,” said Grasso when asked about the milestone of passing Henry.

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Coming into the 2023-24 season, Shane Harper was unsure on if he was going to continue playing and that left the captaincy role vacant for the Thunder until the announced that Patrick Grasso would be named the sixth team captain in Adirondack Thunder History, “It’s been unbelievable, to have the staff and the trust to put me in a leadership role is truly humbling and we have an unbelievable core of guys and countless leaders on the team so it makes my job easier” said Grasso when asked about being named captain. In his first season as Captain, the Adirondack Thunder lead the North Division, and the Cool Insuring Arena has been the loudest its been in recent years, “It’s huge, we feed off the crowd, I’ve said before we have the best fans in the league so every night they show up for us and we try and show up for them” said Grasso when talking about the crowd.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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