This edition of the Ranger Countdown we had intended to get out to you yesterday, but hosting a house warming party took the majority of the day and left me with little energy to finish this one off.
So with apologies to his fans for the tardiness, we present to you today Mr Devin DiDiomete.
Back in 2008, the Rangers gave the undrafted 20 year old a professional contract following a 56 point season with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. Not that that was necessarily the only reason the 5-11 200lb left winger was brought into the fold, especially when you consider his stats may have been a tad inflated playing alongside Steven Stamkos.
With 734 penalty minutes including 77 fighting majors, in 236 games in the OHL, DiDiomete was clearly no shrinking violet. He backed that up after he turned pro, picking up 21 fighting majors in his rookie season with the Wolf Pack and another 17 last year in just 34 games, and another 8 in just 15 games with the Checkers in the ECHL.
Too bad fighting and taking penalties isn’t more valuable. While DiDiomete has managed to transition that aspect of his game to the pro ranks, he hasn’t been able to do much offensively. Often a healthy scratch last year, the now 22 year old will be going into his final pro year likely heading to free agency next Summer if he can’t round out his game.
And the prospects don’t look promising for him going into camp. After spending his entire rookie year with the Pack, he split time between the AHL and ECHL last season, and could very well start off with the new Ranger ECHL affiliate Road Warriors to start the year.
The possibility of one or two demotions from the Rangers, in combination with acquisitions of Jeremy Williams and Mats Zuccarello Aasen, means that ice time in Hartford is also likely to be hard to come by.
Expect to see DiDiomete one again be mostly relegated to part time duty on a crash and bang line, with stints down in the ECHL to help him get some playing time.
Team: Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Stats: 0 goals, 2 assists and 119 penalty minutes in 34 games
Team: Charlotte Checkers (ECHL)
Stats: 2 goals, 2 assists and 128 penalty minutes in 15 games
Team: Hartford Wolf Pack (NHL)
Stats: 0 goals, 1 assist and 110 penalty minutes in 20 games
Team: Greenville Road Warriors (NHL)
Stats: 4 goals, 8 assists and 250 penalty minutes in 40 games
Before he was signed to an NHL contract, DiDiomete was offered a deal by the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.