Rodwin Dionicio – Niagara IceDogs – Player Profile

6’22033-30-04DL18th 2021118 NAUSA
2020-21Under-17 ElitBern U-1710268
2020-21Under-20 ElitBern U-203121012
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#94 Rodwin Dionicio of the Niagara IceDogs. Brandon Taylor/ OHL Images

Born in Newark New Jersey, Niagara IceDogs defenceman Rodwin Dionicio has both American and Swiss citizenship, but because he has represented Switzerland at numerous IIHF sanctioned tournaments, he will be considered Swiss in future tournaments. And because he was playing in Switzerland at the time of the OHL Draft, he had to be selected in the CHL Import Draft. And the IceDogs did just that using the 18th overall pick at the 2021 Import Draft. The Dionicio parents were both from the Dominican Republic and moved to Switzerland when Dionicio was just 5 months young.

There is a lot to like about Dionicio. He has good size and his frame is solidly built. He uses that size and bulk to play a physical game. And when he hits, he hits to hurt – not in the literal sense, but he hits very hard. And he uses that physical stature in his competitiveness when it comes to the board battles and in front of his goaltender. He just will not give up.

Dionicio can lead the attack from transition, he handles the puck extremely well, he sees the ice well and he can make plays. He is willing to jump up in the attack and can pace himself to be the late man. In short, you have to be intrigued by the offensive potential. He has the skill set, the IQ and the willingness. But something is lacking.

Dionicio lacks speed. He’s not bad once he gets going, but his first steps are in need of some improvement, He has the strength in his legs, so maybe just fine tuning his technique will get him there. It will only help develop all the offensive instincts he already possesses.

But it’s just not the speed he needs to work on. His pivots from forward to backward skating needs improving as does his east-west mobility – or his lateral movement. The improvements will not just help him offensively, but defensively. It would help him to get to puck retrievals quicker and help stay with opponents and keep them wide or to the outside. It is something he is lacking that leads him to take foolish and unnecessary penalties.

I’ve often said that skating doesn’t worry me as much as it once did because of the coaching players receive when they get to the next level. And it’s possible Dionicio didn’t receive that level of coaching in Switzerland.

That said, the skill set would have me taking Dionicio higher than where I will rank him, but I do have some concern about the skating here and that will cause him to drop.

But he could be a surprise find in later rounds if he can put it together.


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