The Toronto Maple Leafs may have a surprise waiting for them when training camp kicks off in September.
The Toronto Sun is reporting that prospect Jerry D'Amigo is set to leave Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute (RPI) to sign a pro contract with the Leafs.
"If it ends up that he does leave, he's leaving for the right reason," RPI coach Seth Appert told the Schenectady Daily Gazette. "He's leaving because he has a chance to go make the Maple Leafs. He's made it very clear he has no interest in leaving to go to the Ontario Hockey League. But he is interested in looking at his opportunities with Toronto."
The 19-year old D'Amigo, whose CHL rights are owned by the Kitchener Rangers, was chosen 158th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
While Appert would not confirm that a deal had been finalized, he seemed resigned to losing one of his top players.
"Jerry's been great. He's handled this the right way," Appert told the Daily Gazette. "He's kept me in the loop for the last month and a half during the process, and so has Toronto. They've certainly talked about the possibility of it, but nothing's definite yet.
"They are in discussions, but nothing's concrete [and] nothing's been determined. They certainly are having conversations about it. Jerry's been outstanding. He's kept our staff, and he's kept his teammates abreast of the situation, and he's handled it in a first-class manner."
A Binghamton, New York native, D'Amigo has rocketed up the Leafs prospect charts over the past year thanks to a breakout run at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship where he finished third in scoring with six goals and six assists while helping Team USA capture the gold medal.
In 35 games with RPI this season, D'Amigo has 10 goals and 24 assists.