Phil Di Giuseppe looks to make a play - could the Jackets have him targeted for late in the first round? (Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Athletic Department)
Philip (Phil) Di Giuseppe
Team: University of Michigan (CCHA)
Date of Birth: October 9, 1993
Place of Birth: Maple, Ontario
Ht: 6'1" Wt: 201
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
One of the small but interesting group of Canadian born players who choose to go the NCAA route instead of into Major Junior hockey, Phil Di Giuseppe was an explosive player for U of M in his freshman season, winning the CCHA Rookie of the Month award in October and receiving an honorable mention on the CCHA all rookie team. A power forward very much in the mold of a Rick Nash style player, he decided to go to the NCAA instead of the OHL for the chance to mature both on and off the ice - an interesting decision that says a lot about his ability to look at the long term. Regarded as more of a playmaker than a pure scoring forward, he's also been highlighted for good skating ability and a strong puck possession game.
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.
After spending the past two seasons as one of the top underaged players in the OJHL, Di Giuseppe has been one of the top freshmen in the NCAA this season. Di Giuseppe is a powerful skater and has a quick stride with good acceleration. He does a good job of creating offense with his speed and works hard to fight through checks against physical defensemen. Di Giuseppe has good offensive instincts and does a good job of finding chemistry with different sets of linemates. He needs to continue to add strength as his style of play is very aggressive and it will be important for him as he makes his transition to the next level.
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus:
With his playmaking skills, big frame, and hard skating ability, Di Giuseppe could easily become a natural fit with players like Cam Atkinson or Ryan Johansen. Since the Jackets have been going back to the NCAA well for key players in their last few drafts, I think he's almost certainly on the team's radar should they acquire a later first round pick, but the bigger problem may be that a lot of scouting services and mock drafts expect the Red Wings to be all over this guy. Don't be shocked if we see Ken Holland calling his name at the first opportunity.
Di Giuseppe In Action: