Penguins add NCAA free agent Thomas DiPauli

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have been one of the teams in on the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes, but on Friday announced the signing of a different NCAA free agent when they signed Notre Dame forward Thomas DiPauli to a two-year contract.

DiPauli was originally a fourth-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in 2012.

He spent the past four seasons playing at Notre Dame where he scored 30 goals and added 48 assists in 145 games. Most of that production (22 of the goals and 39 of the assists) came over the past two seasons when he saw a significant jump in his scoring starting with his junior year.

With the Penguins returning pretty much their entire team from a year ago, including all 12 forwards that played in the Stanley Cup Final after the re-signing of Matt Cullen earlier this week, DiPauli seems like he will be ticketed for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL for this season.

Cullen and Nick Bonino, the team’s third and fourth line centers, are both free agents after this season. If one or both are not re-signed that could open spots for players like DiPauli or Oskar Sundqvist