Two days after being selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 7th round of the NHL Entry Draft, Massimo Rizzo is on the move in the BCHL. Rizzo has been traded by Penticton to Coquitlam as the future considerations to complete a June 1 deal that saw forward Alex DiPaolo move from the Express to the Vees.
Rizzo is coming off an injury plagued season as Vees captain that saw him miss the first six weeks of the season and not score his first goal until November 14. Despite missing so much time, the Burnaby Winter Club alumnus still ended up averaging over a point per game with 11-29-40 in 37 games. He went on to add six points (3-3-6) in six playoff games as Penticton was upset in the first round by Cowichan Valley.
In a news release announcing the deal, Vees President, GM and Head Coach Fred Harbinson explained that Rizzo’s injury history played a role in the trade to Coquitlam.
“We felt that with Massimo’s recent surgery, it would be best for him to rehab at home next season. Fortunately we were able to make a hockey trade with Coquitlam that helped our team in the process. Massimo will always be a Vees alum and we wish him the best during his recovery next season,” said Harbinson.
TRADE: Coquitlam, meet Massimo. Burnaby native, @UNDmhockey commit and @NHLCanes draft pick @MassimoRizzo28 has been acquired from the @PentictonVees to complete our previous trade of Alex DiPaolo to PEN.
Full story: https://t.co/K7RoNPluCZ#AllAboard pic.twitter.com/tP5jtWzPna
— Coquitlam Express Jr. A Hockey Club (@BCHLExpress) June 24, 2019
The 18-year-old has two years of junior hockey eligibility, but will head to the University of North Dakota in the fall of 2020. In the Express’ announcement about the trade, Rizzo talks about being a fan of the team since he was little.
“It feels really good to come back here and live at home while playing. I had an amazing experience in Penticton and can’t say enough good things about the organization. With that being said I am super excited to come to the Express and have a successful season. I remember watching games as a little kid even when they were playing here in Burnaby so I think it’ll be really cool to throw that jersey on for myself and continue the legacy,” explained Rizzo.