Report: Red Wings sign Harvard captain Kyle Criscuolo to minor league deal

According to a report from John Buccigross, the Red Wings have signed former Harvard captain Kyle Criscuolo to a minor league deal for the 2016-2017 season:

Criscuolo is a right-shooting centerman who put up 113 points (53 goals, 60 assists) in 124 games with Harvard. It does not appear that this is an entry-level contract as of right now. Just an AHL deal.

This move is filling the gap left from Andreas Athanasiou's departure from the Griffins to play with the Red Wings on a full-time basis. It's also worth considering that the team could be bolstering center depth in expectation that another player, such as Tomas Nosek might not be in it for the long haul with the team.

Criscuolo is a former NCAA (ECAC) All-Star, and All-Ivy League player who led his team to the 2015 ECAC Hockey championship in Lake Placid, New York. A solid depth pickup for the organization which could turn into a contract with the NHL club if he pans out well.

SB Nation's College Hockey wrote a about Criscuolo in a past article about the Northeast Regional:

A Hockey Humanitarian Award Finalist, Criscuolo is the epitome of an outstanding four-year student-athlete. A two-year captain, everyone who knows the Southampton, NJ native raves about his leadership and character.

He burst onto the national season as a junior while scoring 17 goals and 31 assists on way to earning All-ECAC Hockey Second Team honors as well as being a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award. He's taken a backseat to linemate Jimmy Vesey, a 2014-15 Hobey Baker Hat Trick Finalist and 2015-16 Hobey Baker Award Finalist.

Criscuolo, who played prep hockey for Choate, is just five-foot-nine and isn't exactly rugged, but he skates like the wind and has good hockey IQ.

More from the Grand Rapids Griffins' official press release:

The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday signed forward Kyle Criscuolo (krihs-COO-loh) to an amateur tryout for the remainder of the 2015-16 season and to a standard player’s contract for 2016-17.

A native of Southampton, N.J., Criscuolo played four seasons for the Harvard Crimson (ECAC), where he appeared in 124 games and tallied 113 points (53-60—113). He served as a two-time captain for the Crimson, becoming the fourth multi-year captain in the team’s history and the first in nearly 70 years.

In his senior season, Criscuolo, 23, ranked third on the team in points (19-13—32) and second in goals (19) while helping lead the Crimson to their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. He was named the ECAC Player of the Week on Jan. 26 after scoring the game-winning goals at Colgate and Cornell on Jan. 22-23.

Adding to his senior accolades, Criscuolo was a 2015-16 Hobey Baker award nominee and an ECAC Second Team All-League selection.

Off the ice at Harvard, Criscuolo majored in psychology while minoring in economics. He was a two-time recipient of the ECAC’s Student-Athlete of the Year award – the first Harvard student-athlete to earn the award – as well as a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award (2016) and the Senior CLASS Award (2016) and a two-time semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award (2015, 2016).

Prior to his collegiate career, the 5-foot-9, 175-pounder played in 59 games for Sioux City (USHL) and was named the team’s Rookie of the Year as he accumulated 44 points (21-23—44) during the 2011-12 season.