Prospect Update: Joseph Cramarossa

Photo: Misael Virgen / San Diego Union-Tribune

Photo: Misael Virgen / San Diego Union-Tribune

By Thomas Harrington

Joseph Cramarossa just completed his third professional season in the Ducks’ system, having played at both the ECHL and AHL levels over the last three years. This past season, the first that Anaheim’s affiliate was in San Diego, saw Cramarossa suit up for a career high 61 games with the Gulls. It was his second year in a row that he spent the entire season in the AHL.

Cramarossa’s third professional season was his most successful. After scoring five goals and 10 points in Norfolk the year before, Cramarossa increased his offensive output to 11 goals and 17 points this past season. He also appeared in all nine of San Diego’s playoff games and chipped in with three goals. His 11 goals were seventh on the Gulls in scoring. Cramarossa is never going to be a big time goal scorer. He’s a bottom six center, so seeing him increase his offensive output is a good sign. He’s a team first player who played on the Gulls’ penalty kill unit, helping them finish 11th overall in the AHL last season. In the playoffs, he was great in the first round and scored two goals in the final game against Texas, but failed to find the scoresheet against Ontario in the second round. Cramarossa won’t ever be a big time goal scorer, but he’s a smart, veteran player who gives a solid two-way effort when he’s on the ice.

Cramarossa has yet to make his NHL debut, but he has a real chance to do so this season. Anaheim’s roster is currently in a huge state of flux, especially with Nate Thompson out with a long term injury. As of right now, Anaheim’s fourth line will likely be some combination of Jared Boll, Ryan Garbutt, Chris Wagner, and Mason Raymond. Given the current roster holes, some of those players could end up in a top nine role, leaving a spot open for Cramarossa on the Ducks’ fourth line. However, I do expect Bob Murray to sign and/or trade for some more forwards before the season starts, so a spot isn’t guaranteed for Cramarossa. Still, given how much Cramarossa grew with the Gulls last year, and the potential for open roster spots in Anaheim, Cramarossa will have an excellent chance to make his NHL debut at some point this season. He won’t fit in on any of Anaheim’s scoring lines, but he could do nicely on their fourth line and second or third penalty kill unit.

A year ago, I said that I wanted Cramarossa to appear in every Gulls’ game and score between 15 and 20 points. While he did miss a few of San Diego’s games, playing in 61 games was a good accomplishment for him. The 17 points was right in line with what I was hoping for, while still being a solid contributor on the team’s penalty kill unit and being a good forechecker. This coming season, where he plays will factor in what I hope from him. If he spends most or all of the season in San Diego, I’d like to see him play in most or all of their games, while hitting the 20 point mark and continuing to be a big part of the team’s penalty kill. However, what I’d really like to see is for Cramarossa to make his NHL debut. Even if the Ducks make a trade and sign a player or two, there will most likely be a roster spot available for at least one or two players from San Diego, and it would be great if he could grab one of those spots. He’s one of a handful of players who played in San Diego last year who I think has an excellent chance to play for the Ducks this season. Cramarossa doesn’t have to spend the entire season in Anaheim, but it would be great if he could play at least 10 games with the Ducks this season.

It’s fair to say this could be a make or break it season for Cramarossa. His entry level contract ended this summer and the Ducks extended him on a one-year two-way contract towards the end of June. How his season goes will affect what happens with him next summer. If Cramarossa can make it to the NHL this season, I like his odds of the Ducks giving him another extension next summer. However, if he’s not able to make it into at least one NHL game this season, especially with the potential open spots on the roster, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Ducks move on from the former third round pick or possibly bring him back on an AHL only deal.

My next prospect update will be on the recently extended Stefan Noesen.

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