Knights On Ice’s 2020-21 preseason Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the top 25 players under the age of 25 currently in Vegas’ system. The KOI staff members created their own Top 25 Under 25 ballots. Each individual writer’s ballot was then used to generate a composite score that formed the final rankings.
Peter DiLiberatore was selected in the sixth round (No. 180 overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft and comes in at No. 16 in our Vegas Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 rankings. He jumped over Brandon Kruse, drafted a round ahead of him, as part of a nine-spot climb on this year’s list as he has continued to improve every season of his college career.
No. 16: Peter DiLiberatore
- Age: 20
- Position: RD
- Currently playing: Quinnipiac University, NCAA
- Nationality: Canadian
In his junior year at Quinnipiac, DiLiberatore is now serving as an alternate captain and has collected 18 points in 25 games so far. He is four points from having his best year yet, as he scored three more points in nine more games last season. DiLiberatore continues to improve as a goal scorer as well, with four this season, already more than his freshman year and just two behind his sophomore effort.
DiLiberatore has scored 13 goals and 45 assists in 97 NCAA games, all with Quinnipiac. He’s been a consistent penalty taker — 32 minutes so far this season, with 109 over his collegiate career — which may be something he needs to work on at the professional level.
Still, DiLiberatore looks bound for the AHL either next season or after graduation. From there, he could become a Golden Knight should he deliver with the Henderson Silver Knights. In other words, DiLiberatore could go the Zach Whitecloud route, although DiLiberatore has both spent more time in the NCAA and put up better numbers than Whitecloud.
DiLiberatore is currently filling out his strength, which is great; with a 6-foot frame, size should be an attribute for him. He’s clearly skilled offensively and was projected as a defensive-minded defenseman before being drafted, according to Dobber Prospects.
While DiLiberatore may not be a star in the NHL anytime soon, he could be a competent depth defenseman, and the Golden Knights need those, especially with the top of the blue line already filling out for the future with Shea Theodore, Nicolas Hague and Whitecloud.
The Golden Knights have yet to sign DiLiberatore (so he may be a hot commodity should he become a free agent next offseason), but it’s looking more and more like they should.
Previously in the Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 2020-21 series:
Honorable mention: Layton Ahac
No. 25: Jonas Rondbjerg
No. 24: Jake Leschyshyn
No. 23: Paul Cotter
No. 22: Keegan Kolesar
No. 21: Ben Jones
No. 20: Marcus Kallionkieli
No. 19: Lukas Cormier
No. 18: Pavel Dorofeyev
No. 17: Brandon Kruse