Though it has been expected for a few days, the New York Rangers finally made it official today when announcing they have agreed to terms with Phillip Di Giuseppe on a one-year contract. Di Giuseppe was an unrestricted free agent after failing to receive a qualifying offer from the Nashville Predators.
The 25-year old was picked 38th overall in 2012 by the Carolina Hurricanes, and eventually found a way onto the team as the 12th or 13th forward. Playing 147 games over parts of four seasons for the Hurricanes, he recorded 41 points but never could quite escape the minor leagues entirely. Last year after being placed on waivers for the second time, he was claimed by the Predators and played three games for them. Held scoreless in those he was on waivers once again and even the Hurricanes didn’t put in a claim to bring him back. He finished the year with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
Even if Di Giuseppe isn’t going to make a huge impact at the NHL level, he still represents some nice forward depth for the Rangers. He can be the first call-up if the team runs into injury trouble and doesn’t want to sit a top prospect in the press box, or serve as an experienced leader at the AHL level. He will need waivers again obviously, but at the end of training camp when everyone has a full roster it would be surprising to see him claimed. That is of course assuming he doesn’t play his way onto the team, which is still possible given the uncertainty any roster filled with prospects and rookies has.