Well we’re doing this. Welcome to part two of our “Whatever happened to…” series where we look into the careers of former EIHL players in their days after playing in this league.
You can check out part one on Jereme Tendler be clicking anywhere on this sentence, honestly anywhere, we hyperlinked the entire sentence, apart from this last word.
Let’s get into part two.
In 2012, the EIHL got it’s first glimpse at Devin Didiomete, a hard nosed player who crossed the line more times than you could care to count.
A loud mouth on Social Media and on the ice, DiDiomete didn’t make too many friends (Mike Danton being one of the people who seemed to hate him the most), racking up 123 penalty minutes in just 19 appearances before he was released from the Devils after an eventful few months in South Wales that saw him involved in a post-game fight with Benn Olson of the Coventry Blaze, earning himself a three-game ban in the process.
After his release from the Devils, DiDiomete bounced around a bit, playing in the ECHL and AHL that year, before a 12 game stint for Farjestad in the SHL a year later, before ending the season with Milano Rossoblu in Italy,
DiDiomete then returned to the EIHL on a short term deal with the Sheffield Steelers for three games in the 2014-15 season before bouncing around the ECHL for the rest of the season, and then a year later he was back for his last (I don’t want to say final just yet) stint in this league with 27 games for the Manchester Storm (where he once tried to climb into the opposing teams penalty box to go after Danny Stewart) after he initially began the year in Slovakia for HC Banska Bystrica.
But where has DiDiomete been since? If you haven’t guessed by the title…we’re about to tell you.
Since his last appearance in this league, DiDiomete has really turned his career around, and you’d be surprised to see how good he’s doing since he left the antics he showed in the EIHL behind him and got back to playing the game of hockey.
He returned to Italy in the 2016-17 season after a couple of years away after his stint with Milan in 2013/14. His first stint he ended the year with 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points in 23 games, and he wasn’t far off matching that pace in his first year back in Italy.
Joining the AlpsHL for Fassa, DiDiomete as expected led the team (and league) in penalty minutes with 129, but was fourth on the team in scoring with 13 goals and 19 assists, totaling 32 assists in 38 games played, we would say it was the most points by a player to get over 100 penalty minutes that year, but he was the only one to get over 100 penalty minutes that year, still pretty impressive, although given his 10 points in 19 games for the Devils, he did showcase an ability to play the game when he wasn’t too busy using his body as a battering ram, or his fists to fight, or his fingers to fines for what he was posting on social media.
After an impressive return to Italy, Fassa extended his contract through the 2017/18 season, where he continued his physical and penalty minute fueled style of play (leading the team and league once again with 95 penalty minutes this time), but improving to just one point shy of a point per game with 17 goals, 18 assists and 35 points in 36 outings, finishing second only to Sam Rothstein in terms of points who led with 37, but actually leading the entire team with 17 goals.
After two years in Fassa, and finishing low in terms of table position (13th and 16th respectively), DiDiomete moved last summer to his current team Cortina in the same league.
Through 32 games so far, Deeds has set a career high in goals with 19, and adding 8 assists for 27 points, second most on the team behind Riccardo Lacedelli with 30.
Cortina currently sit 10th in the 17 team league (while his previous team Fassa occupy last place with just four wins all year at this point).
Now DiDiomete has a new found love for the game, putting up good numbers while continuing his physical play, but with less of the bad stuff. Last April he told Ian Denomme of The Athletic that he’d found his love for the game again, and is actually in consideration for a call up to the Italian national side now, so like some of the Brits he would’ve played with during his time in the EIHL he could be heading out to Slovakia to play against some of the best countries in the world, but with Italy playing in the other group to GB, if he makes the final team he won’t have much of a chance to renew old friendships.
Fans in the EIHL and Italy will tell different stories of DiDiomete who’s playing the best hockey of his life at the age of 30.
With just shy of 200 fights in his career from the OHL through his professional days, his last fight (according to hockeyfights.com) was against Danny Stewart in his Manchester Storm days. Since then he’s found love for the sport. While we’ll remember him as a character and a fighter that you either loved or hated, we can put that down to be young a stupid, while the Italian fans are getting the older and more mature Devin DiDiomete who’s having one hell of a redemption story in the Alps Hockey League.
Featured Image – WalesOnline.co.uk
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