Maple Leaf forward prospect Christopher Didomenico from the Drummondville Voltigueurs of the QMJHL suffered a broken thigh bone in his left leg and is expected to be out at least 4-6 months after crashing hard into the boards during last night’s playoff game against Shawinigan. Similar to the injury to Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster last season, the incident occurred as a result of two players chasing the puck during a potential icing call. As he was going after the puck, Didomencio was bumped by the Shawnigan defenseman, Adam Bourque-Leblanc, and fell awkwardly, legs-first, into the end boards. He lay on the ice for several minutes in intense pain before being carried off on a stretcher.
Although the QMJHL has instituted a no touch icing rule, the play was going to be close and as such both players continued to sprint towards the puck. The hit occurred shortly after the whistle had gone for icing, and Didomenico, who likely thought the play was over, did not brace himself and was thrown completely off balance.
This is very unfortunate on several levels for all the parties involved. Drummondville is currently in the midst of the QMJHL finals, and losing their one of their top playoff performers will be a serious blow to their chances. Coach Guy Boucher explained that “He’s [Didomenico] been our best player for the last two month. He was dominant on attack and phenomenal on defence.”
As for Didomenico, the 20-year old 2007 sixth round draft pick by Toronto had signed an entry level contract just under two months ago, and was expected to seriously challenge for a roster spot on the big club at training camp. With the FAN590 reporting that the injury will likely keep Chris off his skates for at least 4-6 months, this will make it very tough for him to get his skills and most importantly his physical training up to NHL-ready standard.The six foot, 165-pound forward has been commended for his superb two-way play and playmaking ability, but was expected to work on his skating and add some much needed muscle in order to be an effective player at the next level. A bad break for Chris, literally and figuratively. This kid has faced a ton of adversity and has been an underdog his whole life, but nothing’s stopped him thus far.
This very same injury (a broken femur) sidelined Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster for nearly a full calendar year, getting hit on March 19th, 2008 and then returning to the ice to play for a conditioning stint in the AHL on February 8th, 2009. Let’s hope that this is not the case for Chris and wish him a speedy recovery.
Always a pleasure,