Sheffield Steelers completed their roster for the season ahead when they signed Canadian winger Stefan Della Rovere and such will ice a full complement of imports. Della Rovere’s signing had been much mooted around the hockey grapevine recently and comes as no surprise to many.
The 28 year old winger was picked in the 2004 NHL Draft, the same one that saw Steven Stamkos taken 1st overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, chosen by the Washington Capitals in the seven and final round with the 204th selection. Della Rovere never played for the Capitals, and was subsequently traded in 2010 to the St. Louis Blues. He made seven appearances for the Blues that season, playing alongside Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes and former Panthers player Cam Janssen.
Predominantly though, Della Rovere featured for the then Blues AHL affiliate: the Peoria Rivermen and he spent that initial season of 2010-11 and the subsequent two featuring at that level and in the ECHL with the then known as Evansville Ice Men. The 2013-14 season would see the winger in the ECHL full time as a member of the Florida Everblades: the same team that Steelers acquired Mathieu Roy from. Another season followed, this time to the Orlando Solar Bears where he also wore the “C” on his sweater and had Steelers team-mate Ryan Rupert on the roster with him.
Picture of Stefan Della Rovere courtesy of leaguittous.com
After the season in Orlando, Della Rovere made his first trip outside of North America and joined Valpellice in the Italian league. It was a successful season for him as he won the Italian Cup, his first real honour since 2008-09 when he was a member of the Canadian roster that won the World Under 20’s Championship. The season afterwards saw him stay in Italy but with Fassa in the newly created Alps Hockey League. A team-mate of his there was former Steelers winger Geoff Walker, and when it became that Fassa weren’t going to make the play-offs he also moved to EIHL to conclude the season; albeit with Braehead.
Della Rovere managed almost a point a game in his time in Braehead but was back in Europe last season. His stop was at the EC Kassel Huskies in the DEL2, where fellow Steelers newcomer Evan McGrath was also playing, but as he openly admits it was a tough year for him as he struggled for ice-time and as a result didn’t get the points production he had obtained so well before. Therefore it was time to find a new fit, and it’s into a familiar environment of the Elite League as the final piece of Paul Thompson’s summer jigsaw. He will hoping this season is a better one.
Della Rovere will wear jersey number 17 in his time at the Steelers.