Monday, April 19, 2010

Chris DiDomenico, back with a vengance.

You may recall the story of Christopher DiDomenico. Last May 5th, in the midst of a terrific season, he broke his femur while chasing down an icing call. That year he had starred in the World Juniors on a line with John Tavares and was leading the Quebec League in playoff scoring with 35 points in 15 games. He underwent surgery on his femur and knee, and by October of last year he had begun rehab. He was given a stall in the Toronto Maple Leafs practice facility in order to receive the best rehab available and to be surrounded by professionals who may one day be his team mates.

Amazingly, "DiDo" returned to game action with Drummondville on Feb. 17 of this year and notched three points. He scored a point in 11 of the 12 games finishing with 22 points. Drummondville has advanced to the QMJHL semi-finals and this past Sunday, DiDomenico tallied a pair of goals in a 5-2 loss. He is once again leading the "Q" in scoring with 20 points in 11 games. The Leafs are hoping he can bring his scoring touch and tenacity to either the AHL Marlies or maybe even as a third-line pest on the big squad.

On the topic of the Leaf's future (one of my favourite topics), Nazem Kadri is still tied for the playoff scoring lead in the OHL. Although London was eliminated in the second round, his 27 points in 12 games is tied with Jeff Skinner of the Kitchener Rangers. The 5'10" Skinner finished ranked 34th among North American skaters by Central Scouting. Third in scoring is undrafted Chris MacKinnon of Kitchener, and fifth (behind fourth place Taylor Hall) is Daniel Erlich of London, also undrafted. MacKinnon at 5'8"and Erlich at 5'6" are appear to have their size as the main impediment to being NHL prospects.

Out west in the WHL, Craig Cunningham of the Vancouver Giants leads with 20 points in 12 games. He is tied with Calgary's Brandon Kozun a Kings 6th round pick in 2009 who like Cunningham stands a mere 5'9". Fellow Vancouver Giant Brendan Gallagher sits third in scoring, and is an even shorter 5'8". This explains his Central Scouting ranking of 108th for Cunningham and 174th for Gallagher in the upcoming draft. It's not all smurfs at the top of the "Dub" scoring charts. 6'3" Ryan Johansen of Portland stands is ranked 10th by CSB and notched 18 points in 13 playoffs games before being eliminated. His team mate Nino Niederreiter is fifth in scoring and ranked 12th by Central Scouting.

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