The Penguins have re-signed forward prospect Thomas Di Pauli to a one-year contract extension.
The contract is two-way, carrying a value of $700,000 at the NHL level. He will require waivers this season.
Di Pauli, who turns 25 years old today, was set to become a Group 6 unrestricted free agent this summer. The Group 6 designation is for players who are 25 or older, have completed three or more professional seasons, and have played in fewer than 80 NHL games.
Through Di Pauli's first three professional seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he has only appeared in 108 games. His rookie season ended after 21 games after undergoing back surgery to correct an issue that didn't immediately require surgery, but would have at some point in his career.
This past season, Di Pauli played his last game in December after sustaining a lower-body injury, and he was nearing a return to the lineup when Wilkes-Barre was eliminated from postseason contention. He recorded seven goals and eight assists in 29 games.
When I spoke with Di Pauli shortly before his injury, he expressed his confidence in his ability to take the next step in his career.
“I consider myself ready to be a player in the NHL,” said Di Pauli. “But there’s still something to my game that I can improve on. That’s what I’m doing right now, is fine-tuning things that I think would make me an effective hockey player at the next level.”
“That call-up, you think about it, but you can’t let it creep into your game," he continued. "Maybe you take shortcuts, or you think points are more important than getting a puck out. At the end of the day, it’s important that we win games. This is a winning organization. If we, as prospects, don’t win games, that can be seen as not having that winning attitude. Winning games is huge.”