Anaheim announced yesterday that they had signed Notre Dame forward Kyle Palmieri to a three-year entry level deal.
Similar to Nick Leddy last week, Palmieri was extremely impressive at Anaheim's prospect camp earlier this summer, and the Ducks were very close to signing him then. Another impressive performance at the US World Juniors summer camp currently going on may have been the tipping point for Anaheim signing him.
Palmieri is a difficult player to assess. There's never been any question he's supremely talented, but he had a fairly average 17 points last season, especially considering he got pretty regular power play time. There's also been numerous off-ice incidents throughout his career, including being arrested earlier this summer.
On the plus side for NCAA hockey, now 13 months removed from the 2009 NHL Draft, I think this helps put a fairly convincing end to the "fastest route" meme the CHL likes to use. Of the seven first round draft picks from that year that followed the NCAA route, five of them--Nick Leddy, Louis Leblanc, Jordan Schroeder, Kyle Palmieri, and John Moore, whose only Jr. A experience was in the USHL prior to signing with Columbus--have already signed NHL contracts. A sixth, BC's Chris Kreider, turned down an NHL contract from the New York Rangers this summer, as well. Those are pretty good numbers for a year when there wasn't an NCAA player selected in the top half of the first round.