Phil Di Giuseppe
Recent college signing Phil Di Giuseppe, a Carolina Hurricanes’ second-round pick in 2012, is expected to join the Checkers this week.

Having turned pro after his junior season at the University of Michigan, Di Giuseppe, a 20-year-old left wing, becomes the second college product to do so this month. The first, defenseman Dennis Robertson, has sat out all three games since finishing his senior season at Brown University.

Di Giuseppe (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) finishes his career at Michigan with 78 points (33g, 45a) and 79 penalty minutes in 116 games. He posted 24 points (13g, 11a) in 35 games before Michigan’s season ended with a loss to Penn State in the Big 10 Tournament.

“We’re pleased that Phil has chosen to begin his professional hockey career,” Ron Francis, the Hurricanes’ vice president of hockey operations, said in an official release. “He’s got good size, and adds to our organization’s depth at forward.”

The Hurricanes chose Di Giuseppe with their top draft choice, 38th overall, after trading their first-round pick in a package that landed center Jordan Staal from Pittsburgh. They chose former and potential future Checker Brock McGinn nine picks later.

As is the case with Robertson, Di Giuseppe may not be guaranteed of playing time with the Checkers as they continue a nightly battle for playoff positioning over the final 10 games of the regular season. In previous seasons, players like McGinn and current Checkers Brendan Woods and Ryan Murphy have appeared in meaningful games, though usually not until they have had a chance to get several practices under their belt. Even if he does not feature this season, he is likely to do so at some point while playing out his three-year, two-way contract with Carolina.

The Checkers had three forwards – Greg Nemisz, Aaron Palushaj and Brendan Woods - miss Tuesday’s win in Iowa with injuries. The team used recent professional tryout signing Matthew Pistilli to fill out their lineup.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.