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2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Phil Di Giuseppe

Phil Di Giuseppe, LW

Birthplace: Maple, Ontario, 10/9/93
Bio: 6’1, 195 lbs., L
U. of Michigan, NCAA
Rankings: ISS – 34; CSS – 22 (NA)

The Skinny: The University of Michigan’s top frosh possesses solid skating, scoring and puck-possession play – but does this very coachable young man have what it takes to be the first NCAA forward taken in the top-20 since 2008?


As the probable top NCAA selection in 2012, Phil Di Giuseppe is a young man under considerable pressure. When considering that his squad was one of the top-ranked teams in the country and fought (unsuccessfully) for a conference (CCHA) and national title; it’s evident Di Giuseppe – who scored the Wolverines’ conference quarterfinal-winning goal – has been tested by fire.

He’s had a very solid freshman season for Michigan, tallying double-digits in goals and being a top offensive contributor for the highly-ranked Wolverines. That production stems significantly from Di Giuseppe’s tenacious puck-possession play and pro hands. He wins 50-50 battles with regularity and outworks opponents for the biscuit with unusual strength for someone his age/size.

Di Giuseppe is a very instinctual player and some note his high offensive acumen/hockey IQ as primary reasons for his success. That intelligence makes him a very dangerous player in the attacking zone. Primarily a playmaker, Di Giuseppe has a very solid passing game and is capable of threading tape-to-tape passes and making good decisions below the dots. Anticipating the play well, he is capable of running an offense from the half-wall or below the goal-line. His wrister isn’t elite but his release is both quick and deceptive.

A very hard worker who’s driven to improving his game, coaches and scouts commend his consistent efforts. He’s got a very noticeable competitive edge – which bodes well for his professional future.

Di Giuseppe’s defensive game is certainly still a work-in-progress. He has the tendency to run around a bit in his own zone. His checking game isn’t what you’d expect from a player with his physical tools, either. However, because he enjoys such a tremendous work ethic, many feel that these shortcomings will be surmounted relatively painlessly.

While we expect Phil Di Giuseppe to fall short of becoming the first NCAA forward drafted in the top-20 since 2008 (Colin Wilson), he should still challenge for a spot in the first round. If the Wolverines have a long run through the Frozen Four and Di Giuseppe plays a significant role, he could easily find himself exceeding expectations. However, because his offensive upside isn’t quite the equal of the front-line luminaries in this draft class, we don’t see that happening.

Ideal Fits: Teams looking for a solid forward late in the first round (New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, San Jose)

Why Your Team Will Take Him: Because his intangibles are very impressive and some believe he has first-line scoring potential.

Why Your Team Will Pass on Him: Because they don’t see his offensive upside as first-line; because some of the sexier (forwards) picks are still on the board.

Strengths: Puck Possession Play, Skating Game, Hands, Playmaking, Work Ethic, Hockey IQ, 

Weaknesses/Concerns: Defensive Game, Checking Game, High-end Offensive Upside

Projection: Second-Line Scoring Winger (25g, 55p potential)

Predicted 2012 NHL Draft Range: First/Second Round (20-36)

Overall Rank: 25

N.A. Rank: 19

NCAA Rank: 1

Forward Rank: 13

Canadian National Rank: 10

Bob is the Boston Bruins correspondent for The Hockey Writers and a credentialed member of the Providence Bruins' Media.

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