Dimoff lands deal at D-I St. Lawrence after season in Europe
Carson Dimoff took the long way from Arizona to upstate New York, but the 17-year-old former Jr. Coyotes standout wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dimoff, a left wing from Scottsdale, committed this summer to play his college hockey at St. Lawrence University starting in the fall of 2018. While his upbringing in the Jr. Coyotes program played a big part in his development, he said he also benefited greatly from playing last season in Austria – an unusual move for a 16-year-old.
While the route was circuitous, the destination was exactly what he was looking for. Dimoff said he communicated with a number of other programs but ultimately chose St. Lawrence because he felt it was the best fit for him and the place where he could develop the most as a hockey player.
“I was really patient with my decision, and I’m honored to be committed to such a historic school,” Dimoff said. “I was just really excited to finally commit. I had offers from other schools, but when I visited St. Lawrence and met the coaching staff, it just seemed like the best place for me.”
The Saints play in the highly-competitive ECAC Hockey and have appeared in the NCAA tournament 16 times, making nine Frozen Four appearances, but none since 2000. The 2016-17 season will be their first under head coach Mark Morris, who was at the helm of a highly-successful Clarkson program from 1988-2002.
“I really like Coach Morris, and I also met with (assistant coach) Matt Deschamps, who I have some history with,” explained Dimoff. “I played for his team in Austria, and that made me feel really comfortable with the coaching staff there and made me confident that I’ll be successful at St. Lawrence.”
Dimoff’s youth hockey career began with the Jr. Coyotes when he was five years old, and he skated with them until he was 15. Then an opportunity arose for him and Jr. Coyotes teammate Ryan Savage to play for a junior team in Salzburg, Austria, and after careful consideration, he decided it would be a good move.
“They were very professional about it and gave me time and space to think about it,” Dimoff recalled of the big move. “I’m really grateful – it changed my life completely.”
The season in Austria was a pivotal one and helped him advance to play this season for the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Aberdeen Wings – for whom he had registered one goal and an assist through their first five games. He said he wouldn’t be where he is today if not for everything he learned in the Jr. Coyotes program, however.
“I worked with a lot of great coaches in that organization, and it’s a real big part of why I am where I am today,” he said. “The time that they put into developing their players definitely shows.”
Mike DeAngelis, the Jr. Coyotes AAA Elite program director, said it’s extremely rewarding to see players like Dimoff excel at higher levels.
“We’re pretty thrilled, and we want to increase the number of kids that we’re able to have move on,” DeAngelis said. “I remember Carson when he first started skating, and he has really taken off as a player.”
Dimoff is eager to continue improving as a hockey player in the NAHL this year and down the road with the Saints.
“I always try to be the hardest worker on the ice,” he said. “Maybe I’m not the most skilled player, but I’m always going to try to outwork the guy next to me. I also want to lead by example on the ice – backchecking, forechecking, working hard. Doing things like being aware of the coaches’ strategy and system are also important.”
The NAHL on Oct. 31 announced the Divisional Stars of the Week, presented by Bauer Hockey, for the week ending October 30, 2016.
Central Division Star of the Week: Carson Dimoff, forward, Aberdeen Wings
It was a huge weekend for the Aberdeen Wings as they picked up a two-game home sweep of the Bismarck Bobcats.
Forward Carson Dimoff, 17, totaled six points during the weekend sweep, which included two goals and four assists.
On Friday, the 5-foot-10, 183-pound native of Scottsdale had a goal and four assists in a 5-2 win. On Saturday, he added another goal in a 4-3 overtime win.
In 15 games played this season, Dimoff has 11 points.
“Carson’s weekend is a testament to the way he prepares and works each day,” said Aberdeen coach Scott Langer. “He is one of the youngest players on the team, yet plays very mature. Carson’s performance was a big part of the Wings success this weekend.”
— Greg Ball