Prospect D’Amigo to sign with Leafs

Forward Jerry D’Amigo will soon be trading in his collegiate red for the blue and white of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

American Jerry D'Amigo is expected to sign with Leafs this week.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe

According to multiple sources, the Leafs draft pick is slated to sign his first NHL contract as early as this Wednesday. Once signed to the three-year entry-level deal, the American-born left-winger would lose his NCAA eligibility, so he’d either have to play in the AHL with Toronto Marlies or be sent to the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, who hold his Canadian Hockey League rights.

D’Amigo, 19, was taken in the sixth round (158th overall) of the 2009 NHL draft by the Leafs and was among the standouts during their last month’s orientation camp n Toronto. He took part in that earlier summer camp to protect his NCAA eligibility, which would have precluded him from taking part in the team’s main training camp this fall.

The Rangers drafted D’Amigo in the 2007 OHL draft, but he chose to join the hockey program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., which is roughly two hours east of his hometown of Binghamton, N.Y.

As a freshman, he was among the top scorers with RPI and was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference rookie of the year. While with the NCAA school, the six-foot, 210-pound winger scored 10 goals and added 24 assists in 35 games with the Engineers.

“He always puts numbers on the board,” said one U.S.-based scout. “It was a complete and utter steal to get him where the Leafs got him (in the sixth round).

Prior to joining RPI, D’Amigo spent two seasons with the U.S. National Development Program, winning gold with the U.S. under-18 squad. He also a big part of Team USA’s gold-medal winning squad at the 2010 world junior hockey championship in Saskatchewan. D’Amigo tied with Canadian forward Taylor Hall as the third-leading scorer at the tournament with six goals and six assists for 12 points.

“He’s pure energy,” said the scout. “He’s a world-class player and he’s shown that at every tournament he’s played in for the U.S.”

Sunaya Sapurji is the Jr. Hockey Editor at Yahoo! Sports. You can reach her at sunaya@yahoo-inc.com

Updated Monday, Aug 9, 2010