Phil Di Giuseppe: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Phil Di Giuseppe: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

If you are catching up, the menu for the previous ‘report card’ articles is at the bottom of this article. Phil Di Giuseppe’s starting point for the 2016-17 season Phil Di Giuseppe made his NHL debut as part of AHL-infused lineup shake up in early December of 2015. He was one of three players recalled to try to jump start a languishing Hurricanes team. It worked. Di Giuseppe found himself on a third line with Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask and fit right in. Skinner’s scoring bounced and Di Giuseppe filled an understated but important role of adding another forward who could skate with Skinner, provide support and keep defenses from ganging up on Jeff Skinner trying to play offense by himself. Di Giuseppe spent most of the rest of the 2015-16 season on that line. His 17 points in 41 games (for a 34-point pace over 82 games) was not earth-shattering, but when you consider that he did not see time on the power play, it represented decent depth scoring. He exited the 2015-16 season with a claim to being a front runner to seize a depth forward slot for the start of the 2016-17 season.   Phil Di Giuseppe’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes Before training camp even started, a couple additions in the form of Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho and Lee Stempniak bumped Di Giuseppe out of the top 9 and into the preseason battle for a depth forward role. Di Giuseppe impressed with his blue collar and rugged style of play that hit its peak when he had a couple huge hits and a...
Try out forwards rising up most so far? — Phi Di Giuseppe and Riley Nash

Try out forwards rising up most so far? — Phi Di Giuseppe and Riley Nash

In this recent post, I wrote about the ongoing try out that would happen over the remainder of the 2015-16 to help Canes GM Ron Francis assess what he had heading into the summer and what he needed to add to build a roster for the 2016-17 season.    The blue line The picture f0r 2016-17 is fairly clear and reasonably set on the blue line in terms of who with only some work to do sorting out pairings. Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, James Wisniewski, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Noah Hanifin are under contract for the 2016-17. That makes 6 who would figure to be the opening game starting lineup if healthy. Ryan Murphy is also a restricted free agent and Haydn Fleury moves up and enters the potential mix this summer. Michal Jordan is an unrestricted free agent who has been a serviceable third pairing defenseman of late and Trevor Carrick is the highest rated AHL defenseman who has yet to get a look at the NHL level. When you net it out on the blue line, the group is mostly set and there is even young depth below that. Francis could go shopping for a veteran depth defenseman to fill a #7 slot at the NHL level, but he could just as easily go with what he has and be fine.   Goalie Ron Francis will need to add a goalie to go with Eddie Lack who is already under contract for next season. I think Francis’ choice for his second goalie will prove to be the most important move that he makes this summer. It...
#TheFutureIsNow – Canes recall Phil Di Giuseppe, Jaccob Slavin and Brock McGinn

#TheFutureIsNow – Canes recall Phil Di Giuseppe, Jaccob Slavin and Brock McGinn

What I called a rock bottom loss on Thursday set the stage for a potentially interesting Friday afternoon for the Carolina Hurricanes. Practice which could have been interesting was actually called off, but yet there was activity. The team recalled a trio of rookies in Phil Di Giuseppe, Jaccob Slavin and Brock McGinn and sent Ryan Murphy back to Charlotte. If the trio all play in addition to Noah Hanifin and Brett Pesce, the Hurricanes will have 5 rookies in the lineup. The future is now for this team. With the veterans unable to win hockey games and the kids mostly looking capable at the NHL level the transition to the next generation of Hurricanes players is suddenly happening in fast forward mode. Brock McGinn and Jaccob Slavin are somewhat more known quantities from earlier stints at the NHL level, so I will use this post to talk in some detail about what to expect and watch for from Phil Di Giuseppe. First, please do a quick read of Jordan Futrell’s well-timed profile of him for the weekly ‘Checking In’ Charlotte Checkers report. I was clamoring for a bigger version (with Derek Ryan) of a Phil Di Giuseppe recall in this post way back on November 11.    Di Giuseppe’s path to get here Phil Di Giuseppe’s game is that of skill player with a decent size bag of offensive tools such that he is not a 1 trick pony. He has a decent mix of finishing and playmaking and can create offense in multiple ways. His 2014-15 season was an adjustment from college to the professional level. Di...
Checkers: Phil Di Giuseppe profile + regular Charlotte update

Checkers: Phil Di Giuseppe profile + regular Charlotte update

Phil Di Giuseppe The Checkers have had multiple players stand out and impress so far this season. But no one has maybe stood out more than a 22-year-old from Toronto. Phil Di Giuseppe has fourteen points in twenty games so far this season, and he has been everything the team and coaching staff could have hoped for. Di Giuseppe has been a consistent presence on the first line all year for the Checkers, and he has shown that his greatest asset on the ice is his knowledge for the game. All season, Di Giuseppe has been at the right place at the right time on the ice and that is no fluke; that is just the way he plays. At first glance Di Giuseppe might not blow people away with his play, but if you follow him closely while he is on the ice, especially in the offensive zone, his knowledge for the game jumps out. He is always down near the net looking for rebounds or looking to set up one of his teammates with a nice pass down near the goal. A former Hurricanes player that would be a good comparison for Di Giuseppe is Ray Whitney. Both are smart players that might not blow someone away at first, but if they are followed closely on the ice, it is clear to see that they are both elite in their own right. Di Giuseppe obviously has a long way to go to reach Ray Whitney status, but if he turns out to be half as good as Whitney at the NHL level, the Hurricanes will have a...