MONTREAL — The Pittsburgh Penguins announced former Notre Dame forward Thomas Di Pauli will make his National Hockey League debut on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre (Jan. 4).
Di Pauli, who was recalled for a second time this season, is in his fourth professional season after skating with the Irish from 2012-16. He will have the benefit of joining former Irish teammate (and roommate) Bryan Rust on Pittsburgh’s forward lines.
Di Pauli signed with the Pittsburgh organization in the summer of 2016 after completing his senior season with the irish and becoming a free agent.
Di Pauli will become the 13th former Notre Dame player to appear in the NHL this season, joining: Anders Bjork (Boston Bruins), Ian Cole (Colorado Avalanche), Steven Fogarty (New York Rangers), Dennis Gilbert (Chicago Blackhawks), Jordan Gross (Arizona Coyotes), Vinnie Hinostroza (Arizona Coyotes), Anders Lee (New York Islanders), Kyle Palmieri (New Jersey Devils), Andrew Peeke (Columbus Blue Jackets), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh Penguins), Riley Sheahan (Edmonton Oilers) and T.J. Tynan (Colorado Avalanche).
A former alternate captain with the Irish, Di Pauli joins Gross and Peeke in making his NHL debut this season. He will become head coach Jeff Jackson’s 23rd former Notre Dame player to play an NHL game and the program’s 37th overall. The 13 former players to appear in the NHL this season marks a record high total for the Notre Dame program.
Di Pauli has spent the previous three-plus seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL). Injuries have kept him out of the lineup for much of that time but this year, he has posted six goals and 12 points in 22 games for WBS.
At Notre Dame, Di Pauli finished his senior season (2015-16) with a team-high 14 goals to go along with 18 assists for 32 points. His 14 goals and 32 points marked career-high totals for the Caldaro, Italy native.
A Hockey East honorable mention All-Star in 2016, DiPauli had two game-winning goals in league play and also finished sixth in plus/minus rating in Hockey East games. He scored three power-play goals on the season and he was named the team’s Offensive MVP following the season.
In 145 career games for the Fighting Irish, DiPauli totaled 30 goals and 48 assists for 78 points. He served as an alternate captain as a senior.
Di Pauli graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business as a marketing major.
- Notre Dame closes out a weekend home-and-home series with Western Michigan at 5 p.m. ET in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 5.