2009-10: A sixth-round selection (107th overall) in the 2009 OHL Priority Draft by the Niagara Ice Dogs, Phil Di Giuseppe chose to skate for the Villanova Knights in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League. In 56 games he scored 16 goals with 31 assists. The Knights finished seventh in the 15-team league. In six playoff games Di Giuseppe scored 1 goal with 3 assists.
2010-11: Di Giuseppe was the third-leading scorer for Villanova in his second season with the Knights. He scored 24 goals with 39 assists and had 25 penalty minutes. After finishing second in the South Division of the re-aligned OJHL, the Knights reached the Southeast Conference finals. In 10 playoff games Di Giuseppe led Villanova in scoring with 6 goals and 10 assists with 8 of his 10 points (3 goals, 5 assists) coming on the power play. Di Giuseppe committed to playing college hockey at the University of Michigan in 2011-12.
2011-12: Di Giuseppe skated in 40 of 41 games for the University of Michigan as a freshman. He scored 11 goals with 26 assists and was plus-23 with 18 penalty minutes. After finishing second in the CCHA, the Wolverines reached the finals of the league tournament and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional. Di Giuseppe was invited to the NHL Draft Combine but was not ranked among the 210 North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings before being selected in the second round (38th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Di Giuseppe got off to a slow start in his sophomore season at Michigan in a rare losing season for the Wolverines. After starting the year with 3 goals and 8 assists through 22 games, Di Giuseppe scored 6 goals with 11 assists in the last 18 games. Michigan finished seventh in the CCHA and failed to win 20 games for the first time since head coach Red Berenson’s third season in 1986-87.
2013-14: Di Giuseppe signed a three-year entry-level contract with Carolina in March 2014 following his junior season at Michigan and made his pro hockey debut with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate Charlotte. In three games with the Checkers, who missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the West Division, he had 1 assist and an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes. Di Giuseppe was one of five players to skate in all 35 games for Michigan and was the team’s fifth-leading scorer. He scored a career-high 13 goals with 11 assists and was plus-7 with 29 penalty minutes. Michigan finished third in the Big Ten in the conference’s inaugural season but was upset by Penn State in the conference tournament and did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
2014-15: Di Giuseppe was one of two players to skate in all 76 games for Carolina AHL affiliate Charlotte along with defenseman Trevor Carrick in his first pro season. He scored 11 goals with 19 assists and was -10 with 20 penalty minutes. The Checkers missed the AHL playoffs, finishing fourth in the West Division.
Di Giuseppe is a streaky but natural scorer who hasn’t yet built the consistency needed to reach the next level. Di Giuseppe has the size and strength to compete down low on the wing, and his defensive game has improved since leaving Michigan after his junior season.
In order to make his way to the NHL, Di Giuseppe needs to become a more prolific and consistent scorer. That starts with spending 2015-16 with the AHL’s Checkers as one of the main scoring options. Di Giueseppe will need to improve on last year’s totals (11 goals, 19 assists in 76 games) to catch the eye of the Carolina brass.