Carolina Hurricanes prospect Phil Di Giuseppe is off to a hot start in the AHL. Is he worth of a call up to the NHL?
The Carolina Hurricanes, a club that hasn’t scored over 1 goal in 4 of their first 6 games, could benefit big time from added talent at the forward positions. Phil Di Giuseppe could provide a big boost for the Canes.
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Through the 5 opening games of the season, Di Giuseppe has tallied 3 goals and 4 assists for the high-flying Charlotte Checkers. He leads the 3-2-0 Checkers and is tied for 2nd in the entire AHL in total points.
Dating back to last season, Di Giuseppe, 20, has tallied a staggering 11 points in his last 6 games.
The Carolina Hurricanes drafted Phil Di Giuseppe in the 2nd round of the 2012 NHL Draft. Since then, the young winger has finished out his collegiate hockey career at the University of Michigan and has played one full season in the AHL with the Checkers.
Last season, the then-rookie netted 11 goals and had 30 total points on a Checkers team that struggled to get any offense throughout the season.
Despite struggling to get much going offensively, Phil Di Giuseppe was a large bright spot for the team and the organization.
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Di Giuseppe had a breakout performance in training camp, but he was amongst the final 11 roster cuts by Carolina as they trimmed their team down within the NHL limit.
Since being sent down to the AHL, he has been a prolific scorer, leading the Charlotte offense throughout the first 2 weeks of the season.
With all the offense that he has produced, he should be on the short list of players to be given an audition in the coming weeks, especially considering the lack of offense that the Carolina Hurricanes have produced in their 2-4-0 start to the 2015-2016 regular season.
We have seen Brock McGinn burst on to the scene in Carolina and become an instant impact player for the struggling Canes, and Di Giuseppe could provide a very similar type of production if he is put in a top-nine roll that he can succeed in.
Di Giuseppe could be placed on a struggling Jordan Staal line and produce offense, while also providing stability in his own end and on the forecheck, as he has in the AHL in his first season and change.
Outside of the two Detroit games, the Hurricanes have struggled to get any offense working, and that has been the biggest issue for the club thus far. Adding a guy like Di Giuseppe, a proven scorer at the college and AHL levels, could help jump start that offense and get things going once again.
The Carolina Hurricanes rank 25th in the NHL in goals scored so far this season. That kind of output will not work if this team wants to be anything more than a bottom dweller for the remainder of the season.
Giving younger guys like Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe a shot is much easier than making a trade, so calling up Di Giuseppe may be the club’s only option if they truly want to get something going on offense.