Phil Di Giuseppe proving to be a “Fast” replacement for the Rangers

Phillip Di Giuseppe is one of the hardest workers on the New York Rangers. He’s versatile, and could be used on the 4th line to check. Or as we’ve seen this season as the defensive conscience for two offensively gifted young stars in Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko.

He is “quickly” becoming a “fast” replacement to a former Blueshirt, Jesper Fast.

Phil Di Giuseppe earning trust and playing time

The 27 year-old has come a long way from being selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. He toiled in and out of the Canes lineup but managed to pick up 41 points in 147 games for them over four seasons.

He made a quick pit stop in Nashville before joining the Rangers organization in 2019-20. Di Giuseppe made an impression on David Quinn late last season playing in 20 games and notching 4 points.

β€œI love his pace,’’ David Quinn said about DiGiuseppe last season. β€œHe plays a lot like Fast. He’s got that hard-working mentality; he gets to the net, plays at a pace.” The head coach is being rewarded for his praise and trust in the hard-working forward.

Di Giuseppe enters today’s game against the Penguins with a three-game point streak. He’s already matched last year’s totals on the strength of 4 assists.

Phil Di Giuseppe
Phil Di Giuseppe (Getty Images)

Phil Di Giuseppe making a difference for the Rangers

Quietly, Di Giuseppe is at the top of the NHL’s leaderboard in several categories:

  • 1st in the NHL in points per 60 at 5-on-5 (7.53) and assists per 60 at 5-on-5 (7.53)
  • 1st in the NHL (min. 3 games played) in SAT% (73.7%)
  • 1st in the NHL (min. 3 games played) in individual shot attempts per 60 at 5-on-5 (28.24) and individual shots on goal per 60 at 5-on-5 (20.71)
  • T-1st in the NHL in assists (4) and primary assists (4) at 5-on-5
  • T-2nd in the NHL in even strength assists (4) and primary assists (4)
  • T-5th in the NHL in points at 5-on-5 (4)
  • 10th in the NHL (min. 3 games played) in hits per 60 minutes (18.53)

Note: Stats provided by NYR PR

Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Slowly but surely, Di Giuseppe is proving to be that invaluable low-cost bottom-six forward every team needs if they want to win at this level. His yeomen efforts are not something you easily find, are want to replace.

It also would not shock me that when the Rangers assessed where they were in the rebuild and contrasted the game’s of Di Giuseppe and Fast, it made their decision easier.

Phil will likely never replace Jesper’s value in the leadership category. In truth, he doesn’t have to because that’s something for players like Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba to handle.

He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing, and that will be more than enough.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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