On Friday and Saturday night, I was able to watch Penn State vs. No. 10 Michigan when the Wolverines came to State College for a Big Ten matchup. Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect Phil Di Giuseppe is on Michigan and I was able to watch one of the Canes’ top prospects in game action.
My first impression was that for a player that is known more as a shooter, Di Giuseppe is really a shifty, skilled player. He has no problem attacking a defenseman on the rush, and on several occasions got around one of Penn State’s defensemen.
The Toronto native is also a quick skater, which complements his stick-handling skills well. Michigan also used Di Giusppe on the powerplay, usually on the second unit.
The second-round pick in 2012 didn’t look lost in the defensive zone, knowing where to position himself, but he was not used on the penalty kill and didn’t seem to be an exceptional defensive player.
One thing that I think Di Giuseppe could work on is his board play. He wasn’t afraid to go into the boards and fight for the puck, but it wasn’t often that he would come up with the puck. This could be because Penn State employs a number of big defensemen, as Di Giuseppe’s fight for the puck was there.
Di Giuseppe is in his junior year with the Wolverines and has 14 points in 24 games. He will likely play another year at Michigan, but it seems like he has a bright future ahead of him as long as he can transition his game to the pros.