Arizona State rising junior defenseman Josh Maniscalco has signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Maniscalco, a native of Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, about an hour outside of Philadelphia, took a roundabout journey to pro hockey. He was a standout as a 15-year-old with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep program and earned a scholarship offer to the University of Minnesota as one of the top young defensemen in the nation. But after two mediocre years with the US National Development Program, Maniscalco went undrafted and Minnesota withdrew their scholarship offer. He went to Dubuque of the USHL for one season and ultimately earned an opportunity at Arizona State.
Maniscalco became one of the top offensive D options for the Sun Devils. Last season, he scored 11-21-32 in 36 games, which put him second nationally in goals scored by a defenseman.
Pittsburgh general manager Jimmy Rutherford cited Maniscalco’s offensive capability in the team’s press release of his signing:
“Josh is a solid puck-moving, offensive defenseman. He jumps into the rush and plays a style that is complementary to our group. We think highly of his character and are happy to add Josh to the organization.”
Arizona State has not made any official announcement with regards to their hockey program, all other sports on their campus are shut down until at least January 1st of this year, per a decision by their parent conference, the Pac-12.