By Michael Caples –
PITTSBURGH – During his post-draft interviews, Phil Di Giuseppe compared the NHL Draft to something you don’t normally hear associated with hockey.
“It’s like a beauty contest,” the Wolverines forward said. “Obviously you want to go as high as possible, but I couldn’t be more happy with where I am now or as honored as I am now.”
Di Giuseppe, ranked No. 22 in the NHL Central Scouting’s final chart, ended up being selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft, No. 38 overall.
The soon-to-be sophomore in Ann Arbor said he wasn’t too sure of where he would end up when names started being called by NHL clubs.
“I had no idea,” Di Giuseppe said. “It’s kind of hard to tell. … I’m just proud to be drafted by this organization.”
Di Giuseppe posted 11 goals and 15 assists in his first season with the Wolverines – a significant offensive force in the CCHA. But he said that when October rolls around, he will be ready for even more responsibility in the opposition’s zone.
“Last year, I came in strong and started scoring right away,” Di Giuseppe said. “The biggest part of my game that kind of fell was my consistency. That’s what I’ll work on in the summer. We lost a couple guys so I’m going to be relied on for scoring.”
Michigan coach Red Berenson sat behind Di Giuseppe during the draft. The future Hurricane said that Berenson deserves credit for helping him get to this point of his career.
“He’s been around so many prospects and so many NHL players,” Di Giuseppe said. “He had a lot of years in the NHL himself. He knows so much about the game and passes that on to his players. That’s why I think the program has done so well — because it was built around Red.”
Di Giuseppe also said he still plans on skating at Yost next season.
“It’s great hockey,” Di Giuseppe said. “That’s why I went to school there and played there. I’m happy with my decision and I’m happy to go back next year.”