NHL Draft Prospect Profile #28: Phil Di Giuseppe


Drafted 38th Overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Phil Di Giuseppe is turning heads this year, and is our highest ranked prospect currently playing in the NCAA.  A member of the Michigan Wolverines, Di Giuseppe had an excellent freshman season.  He really opened the scouts eyes with a good start to the season, and even earned an invite to Team Canada’s December try-out camp for the World Junior Championships.  Di Giuseppe was extremely impressive in the camp and was one of the team’s last cuts.  He took that momentum back to Ann Arbor,  where he finished strongly with a huge goal in the CCHA semi-final, and really put himself on NHL Scouts’ radar.  DiGiuseppe is just the second highest ranked Canadian born forward on our list, joining Brendan Gaunce.  He should be joined at Michigan by Jacob Trouba next season.

Left Wing
Born Oct 9 1993 — Maple, ONT
Height 6.01 — Weight 200 – Shoots Left
2011-12 U. of Michigan CCHA 40 11 15 26 18

DiGiuseppe is an intriguing prospect with a lot of offensive potential.  He is more a playmaker than a goal scorer at this point in his career.  He has extremely good hockey sense, excellent vision, and the ability to make difficult passes, threading the needle through opponents sticks and skates to give a teammate a great scoring chance.  He is very good in board battles and in working the cycle in the offensive zone.  He’s also not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice and makes key plays in traffic.  In the offensive end, Di Giuseppe is a tireless worker who is always forechecking hard, battling for loose pucks, and trying to create scoring chances out of nothing. Di Giuseppe is an above average stickhandler.  He has soft hands and good puck protection skills.  While he is more a playmaker than scorer, Di Giuseppe does possess a good wrist shot and release.

Di Giuseppe is very strong on his skates, has good balance, and a powerful stride.  It is difficult to knock him off the puck.  However he does need work on his speed, acceleration, and agility as they are all average at best.  One thing that does impress us however is that he is able to maintain his top speed with the puck on his stick, something that not a lot of young players can do.

Defensively Di Giuseppe is a project.  He often gets himself caught out of position and running around in the defensive zone.  He needs work on his positioning.  He also needs to learn how to effectively use his size and strength to take the body in his own end. Di Giuseppe has a tendency to get caught flat-footed in his own end of the rink and can watch the puck a bit too much at times.

Di Giuseppe may be a bit of a long term project, but he’s one with the potential to be a solid top 6 contributor at the NHL level.  This should ensure that his name is called in the late first or early second round in Pittsburgh.  With time and continued development we believe Di Giuseppe’s ceiling to be a bigger version of T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues, though we admit this will be a tough level to reach and he may be more of second line talent, than 1st line like Oshie.

… and thats the Last Word.