Friday, August 9, 2013

Justin Dibenedetto Autograph Card

Justin Dibenedetto has always taken small steps towards improving his game, first in juniors, where his production went from 9 to 30 to 63 to two consecutive 93-point season, then for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the New York Islanders' system, going from 14 to 30 to 41 points (including 20 goals, in 55 games).

He must have felt that was worth more than an 8-game stint in the NHL, though, because he spent the 2012-13 season in Austria, registering 44 points in 49 games. Either he's reached his level, or he's on another climb uphill which, on the verge of turning 25, is actually likely.

I found this signed rookie card of his in the dollar bin at a comic book shop last year:

It's from Panini's 2011-12 Certified set (card #184, the Freshman Signatures sub-set) and is signed in blue sharpie directly on the card, a rare feat for Panini. He's seen sporting the Isles' current home uniform, using its classic colour scheme with a more modern design of large lines rather than small ones. The rainbow colouring is a reflection of the foil on the scanner.

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