Michigan State opened their season on October 2, although the Spartans were missing sophomore defenseman David Gucciardi for the first two games due to illness. Gucciardi returned for his first game, albeit in reduced minutes for conditioning purposes, on October 13 as the 7th defenseman.
After playing reduced minutes in his first weekend back, Gucciardi was elevated to play full time this weekend. He didn’t waste time making an impact in both games played. Gucciardi, 20, recorded his first goal of the season against Long Island on Friday night, bombing one from the top of the slot.
Snipe from the high slot by Gucciardi! Play right off the faceoff and the Spartans lead 2-1. pic.twitter.com/iLvbPCd8oh
— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) October 21, 2022
Gucciardi followed up his first goal of the season with another tally against Long Island on Saturday night. He would jump into the zone to collect a loose puck, make a move and fire a dart in the upper right corner for the tally.
I’m not playing favorites but I really love watching David Gucciardi score. pic.twitter.com/QXaWPJ5sHK
— Brad LaPlante (@bradlaplante) October 23, 2022
“We’re excited about having him back in the lineup, and I think it says a lot about David that he played that way in his first game of the year against a really good team in a competitive game,” said Spartans coach Adam Nightengale. “He can be a really good player for us. He can really skate, he’s a hockey junkie, and we think he’s just going to keep getting better and better as the season goes on.”
The Capitals selected Michigan State sophomore in the seventh round (213th overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Gucciardi was in the middle of a team workout away from his phone when the selection was made and didn’t find out about the good news until an hour later.
“It was really cool,” Gucciardi told the Statesman. “It’s something I’ve been working for my whole life. To have that goal achieved means a lot to me, and I’m really grateful and just thinking about people that got me there like my parents, my brother, all my family really. They did so much, so it was really special for them too and an exciting moment for everyone.”
By Jon Sorensen
Great to see. Thought this was a solid 7th round pick with some upside. Will be interesting to see how he continues to develop this year and whether he turns pro and goes to Hershey or plays more college.
I’m beginning to sense these later round draft picks have excellent shots as their best attribute. Will track during the season, but so far that’s what’s standing out the most to me.
Welcome back, Gucciardi. I recall in the Prospects scrimmage, he and Vincent Iorio, Caps’ top defensive prospect from the prior year’s draft, were on the same defensive pairing. I had to notice that pairing of two Italian defensemen together. (Note: I’m married to an Italian.)