The rumors about the Maple Leafs signing their 2009 sixth round draft pick Jerry D’Amigo came true this afternoon as the team announced they’ve reached a three-year entry-level deal with the Team USA World Junior Championships gold medalist. Leafs GM Brian Burke had this to say about D’Amigo:
“We’ve been very pleased with Jerry’s progression over the past 12 months,” said Burke. “Seth Appert and the rest of the coaching staff at R.P.I. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) have done a really nice job of preparing Jerry for the next stage in his development. We look forward to having him at training camp.”
At RPI last year, D’Amigo was a revelation for the program, leading all freshmen in points per game while winning the ECAC Rookie of the Year award. In the off-season, D’Amigo has added weight and muscle to his frame turning him from a still green young kid into an NHL-sized and ready prospect, something to which D’Amigo thanks the coaches at RPI for helping him do.
For the Leafs, D’Amigo presents the possibility of having a fresh-faced option to use on their third line as D’Amigo’s offensive and defensive skills are about equal. D’Amigo spent last season with RPI playing time both on the power play and the penalty kill. Having attended the majority of RPI’s games last season, my own untrained eye tells me that a bigger and faster Jerry D’Amigo will be the steal they were hoping he might be when they drafted him in the sixth round in 2009. That year, he was projected to be a late second-early third round pick yet slipped into the early sixth, a mistake many teams may come to look back on with regret.
(Photo: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images)