Colorado youngster Grasso bringing right skill set, attitude to USPHL’s Jets for ’21-22 season
Robert Grasso will be one of the youngest players with the USPHL’s Metro Jets next season, but that doesn’t mean he won’t make an impact.
A native of Broomfield, Grasso is a 2004 birth year who spent the 2020-21 season playing 16U AAA for the USPHL’s Northern Cyclones organization.
He came to the USPHL Detroit Combine, hosted by the Jets in April, and signed with the club the following week.
“One thing that really appeals to me about playing for the Jets is the atmosphere and team-first mentality,” said Grasso, a talented forward. “The Jets are a very well-run program, and their philosophy is like no other. They focus on developing every player and I am excited about the opportunity to grow and improve.”
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville said Grasso has already bought in to the team’s model and can’t wait to see how the youngster will improve over the course of the 2021-22 season.
“Robert visited us again this summer to discuss an opportunity in our program,” explained Quenneville. “He had the opportunity to skate with us and meet some of the players. It was evident he would be a good fit here and we look forward to helping him develop. He skates well, plays hard, and brings energy all over the ice. Even at his age, you can see a lot of upside in his game. I don’t doubt he will take advantage of this environment and the opportunities we can help provide him.”
Grasso noted that he does what’s best for the overall team, something he has always strived to do on prior teams.
“I feel I can contribute to the team with my work ethic and being the best teammate I can be,” Grasso said. “I hope to earn the respect and trust of my teammates by always giving 100 percent effort, being a team player, and using my skills to help us be successful as a team.”
Growing up in Colorado, Grasso skated for the Boulder Hockey Club and for Monarch High School.
“My dad has played hockey his entire life and shared his passion for the sport with me and my brother,” said Grasso. “He got us started playing hockey when I was six years old, so when I moved to Colorado from New Jersey when I was 10 years old, I had already been playing competitive hockey for four years. I’ve taken a lot of private lessons over the past few years with coach Pete Cardasis. He has been a big influence on me because he taught me to push myself to get better and helped me improve my skills tremendously.”
Looking ahead, Grasso has attainable and reasonable goals, and hopes the Jets can provide the springboard to becoming a more well-rounded player and person, at the rink and away from the rink.
“My short-term goal in hockey and life is to prove to myself that I am continuing to grow and improve as a player and person, on and off the ice,” said Grasso. “I believe I can do this by always having a positive attitude and never giving up. My long-term goal in hockey and life is to play hockey at the collegiate level and use my experiences and the skills I’ve gained as an athlete to help me be successful in my future career and life.”
— Matt Mackinder
(September 7, 2021)