Former Capitals draft pick Thomas DiPauli has signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
As a 2012 fourth round selection who attended college, the Capitals had until August 16 to sign him before he became an unrestricted free agent.
It became clear Thursday that DiPauli did not intend to sign with the Capitals and instead would chose the Stanley Cup champion Penguins as his landing spot.
DiPauli is a product of the United States National Team Development Program, where he spent his juniors years, and the University of Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, DiPauli posts 30 goals and 78 points in 145 games. He scored 14 goals, nearly half his career total, in his senior season. He received an honorable mention to the Hockey East All-Star team.
The Penguins have yet to announce the signing. DiPauli’s agent, Peter Fish, could not immediately be reached for comment Friday morning, although he all but confirmed the deal the previous day.
The reasons, he said, were clear: DiPauli wants to play in the NHL. As a older player coming out of college, he has little time to sit in the minors before his number gets called. The Capitals have a glut of young forwards waiting in the wings. The Pens, as we all saw during the playoffs, are a young team that is not afraid to put rookies in big situations. He’ll likely start in the minors before becoming a bottom-six player for Pittsburgh.
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