He may not see any game action during this NHL stint, but that shouldn’t take anything away from Mikey DiPietro’s strong start in the AHL.
Earlier today, the 20-year-old netminder was recalled from the Utica Comets after the Vancouver Canucks granted Jacob Markstrom a leave of absence to attend his father’s funeral back in Sweden.
The circumstances in which DiPietro finds himself in following this recall is vastly different from the one that saw him join the Canucks on an emergency basis back in February. He got lambasted that night behind a shaky Canucks defence, giving up seven goals in a 7-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
It was a learning experience for DiPietro, who is no stranger to displaying strong mental toughness. His birth mother passed away from cancer when he was just five years old. He was also under the limelight as the starting goaltender for Team Canada during the World Junior Championships last season.
Fast-forward to this season, and DiPietro’s early performance in the AHL has to be considered a positive development for this franchise. He’s currently 7-4-1 on the season with a .913 save percentage, and there have been games that DiPietro has outright stolen for the Comets.
Against the Laval Rocket on November 23rd, DiPietro was fantastic in a 4-2 win for the Comets. He stopped 42 shots on the night, with some of his saves being of the highlight-reel variety.
There was also that 2-1 shootout win against the Hershey Bears back in October, where DiPietro single-handedly took over the game for Utica. His team was outshot 39-19, but DiPietro stopped 38 shots and all three shootout attempts to steal the win.
While fans shouldn’t expect him to start for the Canucks during this recall, it’s clear that DiPietro has earned the promotion. He’s currently the Comets undisputed number one goaltender, which wasn’t necessarily the case when the Canucks recalled Zane MacIntyre earlier this season.
Roussel and Chatfield join Canucks
Hopefully this dude ended up finding “Jalen Charfield”
Just landed in Vancouver. This guy is holding a sign for a “Jalen Charfield.” One can only assume it’s supposed to be Chatfield, and that means he was called up for today’s game. #Canucks pic.twitter.com/kfe0nTu0A1— Greg Kerster (@GregKerster) December 1, 2019
The 23-year-old has yet to play an NHL game, but there’s a slim chance that changes following his recall to the Canucks. He has one assist in 18 games this season.
What’s more important to the Canucks is the fact that Antoine Roussel could finally rejoin the team this week after he finished his stint in the AHL. He played two games, posting one assist and generally, playing like a pain in the ass for the opposition.
Where he gets inserted into the lineup could be interesting, considering he’s probably still the best option to play with Bo Horvat.