It’s been a hectic 24 hours for one of the Canucks top goaltending prospects.
On Monday, goaltender Michael DiPietro was unsurprisingly named to Team Canada’s World Junior Camp. While he isn’t a lock to be the starter, DiPietro is certainly favoured to be the starting goaltender for Team Canada.
His crazy week took another turn on Tuesday, when it was announced that DiPietro was being traded from the Windsor Spitfires to the Ottawa 67’s.
A day after being named to Canada’s World Junior camp roster, hearing star Windsor goalie Michael DiPietro is being traded to the Ottawa 67’s, who are now set for a hard run at the Memorial Cup. https://t.co/U3E5rurgcC— James Duthie (@tsnjamesduthie) December 4, 2018
Here’s how the trade broke down.
- G Michael DiPietro
- 2024 2nd Round Selection (Kingston)
- 2020 4th Round Selection (Windsor)
- F Egor Afanaseyev
- 2019 2nd Round Selection (Ottawa)
- 2021 2nd Round Selection (London)
- 2022 2nd Round Selection (Ottawa)
- 2023 2nd Round Selection (Ottawa)
- Conditional 2021 2nd Round Selection (Ottawa)
- Conditional 2021 3rd Round Selection (Ottawa)
- Conditional 2022 3rd Round Selection (Ottawa)
If you’re wondering why there were so many picks involved, a large part of it is likely because trading first round picks is prohibited in the OHL.
After leading the Windsor Spitfires to a Memorial Cup title in 2016-17, DiPietro has been lights out for an undermanned, younger Spitfires organization. This season, he sports an 11-8-1 record with a .920 save percentage.
His former team is 14-13-1-1 on the season, good enough for sixth out of ten teams in the Western Conference. DiPietro will now join the Ottawa 67s, who lead the Eastern Conference with a 22-3-3-1 mark. The 67s haven’t lost in regulation 23 contests.
They lead the league in goals with 123, and their current goalie Cedrick Andree has been solid with a .911 save percentage. However, the 67s appear to be unstoppable with DiPietro now between the pipes.
On Monday, DiPietro joined James Duthie on SportsCentre, and really looked motivated to backstop Team Canada to gold. It’s especially motivating that he gets to do it in front of a home crowd in Vancouver as well. In the interview, you can tell that he’s not over being cut last year.
READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT: Goalie Michael DiPietro (@miketendy) on where representing Canada at the #WorldJuniors ranks on his list and what kept him motivated after being cut last year https://t.co/Hu0VhEKPMy #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/c97EP9HE1J— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 4, 2018
“Heading into the season, [making the team] was number one on my list,” DiPietro told TSN’s James Duthie. “Every personal goal and everything else was second to that. After getting cut from last year’s team it was definitely a motivational factor for myself.
“It’s always been on my brain since the season started. Frankly, since I got cut last year. Coming right around the corner it’s a lot to process but I’m ready for the challenge and I’m certainly excited for camp and looking forward to earning a spot.”
By the way, he also wants to be known as Mikey. Canucks fans will surely be chanting that name throughout Rogers Arena if DiPietro is able to help Canada win gold.
They are underdogs this year to a team featuring another prominent Canucks prospect: the United States. Led by the Hughes brothers, the U.S. are favoured with some high-octane talent at the top of their roster.
DiPietro is in an interesting position with Team Canada and the Ottawa 67s. While it’s probably too early to look ahead, there are 22 players that have won both junior gold and and Memorial Cup Title in the same season. The last was DiPietro’s teammate Jeremy Bracco (Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, United States), in 2017. Before that, Olli Juolevi was the last player to win both, in 2016.