Welcome to the April 2014 edition of On the Rush. With the postseason underway, this will be the final column for the 2013-14 season. As such, this edition will focus on prospects at various levels of competition who exceeded expectations or fell behind a bit over the course of the entire season.
Each season, a plethora of talented freshmen enter the collegiate ranks with some not only setting themselves apart from the rest but also making immediate impacts for their respective teams.
This season, one such player is University of Michigan freshman winger Phil Di Giuseppe.
Di Giuseppe came to Michigan after playing two seasons with the Villanova Knights of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. In 2010-11, Di Giuseppe amassed 79 points (30 goals, 49 assists) in 59 games.
While the Maple, ONT native had considered going the Major Junior route (the Windsor Spitfires hold his OHL rights); Di Giuseppe felt that the University of Michigan best suited his development.
"I chose the college route because I thought it would be better for my game and give me the time to mature on and off the ice. So that was a big part of my decision."
Michigan and RPI were among the NCAA schools that heavily recruited Di Giuseppe. But he ultimately chose Michigan for its reputation.
"I wanted to come to Michigan because the school is top-notch. The hockey program has been successful and has so much history. And to just be a part of it is awesome."
At the University of Michigan