2009-10: Thomas Di Pauli skated for the Chicago MIssion Midget Major U16 team and represented the USA at the 2010 U17 Four Nations Cup. In 30 games with Mission he scored 18 goals with 15 assists and had 10 penalty minutes. He had 1 goal and 2 assists in four games at the Four Nations Cup.
2010-11: Di Pauli joined the USA National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor and was a co-captain of the NTDP U17 team. He skated in two games with the U18 team and had 1 goal with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. In 49 games with the U17 team he scored 7 goals with 20 assists. He represented the USA at the 2011 U18 Vlad Dzurilla and U17 World Hockey Challenge tournaments. He had two assists in three games as the USA captured gold in the Dzurilla tournament and had 2 goals with 4 assists in six games for the silver medal-winning USA squad at the WHC. Di Pauli committed to playing college hockey at Notre Dame.
2011-12: Di Pauli skated for the NTDP U18 team in his second season in Ann Arbor and won a gold medal at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. DiPauli scored 11 goals with 10 assists and had 22 penalty minutes in 55 games. He scored 1 goal and was an even plus/minus in six games at the WJC. Di Pauli was ranked 81st amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Washington in the fourth round (100th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Di Pauli played in 41 game for Notre Dame as a freshman. He scored 5 goals with 7 assists and was +8 with 31 penalty minutes. The Fighting Irish won the final CCHA playoff championship after finishing second to Miami in the regular season. Notre Dame lost to St. Cloud State in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.
2013-14: Di Pauli battled injuries during his sophomore season at Notre Dame — missing 14 of 40 games for the Fighting Irish. He scored 3 goals with 2 assists and had an even plus/minus in 26 games. Notre Dame finished eighth in Hockey East in its first year in the conference. The Fighting Irish upset first-place Boston College in the conference tournament and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament; falling to St. Cloud State, 4-3, in overtime in the NCAA West regional semifinals.
DiPauli is an interesting case. Prior to the 2014-15 season, his third at Notre Dame, he was a high-energy two-way player with limited offensive upside (just 17 points in 67 games). Then, he burst onto the scene with a 21 assist, 29 point effort in 41 games for the Irish last season. He is good on faceoffs and works hard at both ends of the ice, so his offensive explosion is likely due to an uptick in ice time and improved line mates. In any event, he is a strong two-way center with a high motor and strong skating ability.
As of this writing, DiPauli is waiting to be signed by the Capitals or to be released as free agent. Should he sign with the Capitals, he will likely get a shot at the AHL or spend the year in the ECHL working on his offensive game. Ultimately, he could find himself playing the role of an effective third or fourth line center thanks to his ability in the faceoff circle and his high motor.