Welcome to the 2022 Edition of the Vancouver Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings. The list includes all players in the Canucks system who were born after April 15th, 1998.
You have to feel for Michael DiPietro.
Five years have now passed since the 23-year-old was drafted in the third round by the Vancouver Canucks.
Speaking of which...remember when that draft was considered one of the best in team history?
Well, it still might be thanks to Petey and Rathbone, but the shine has worn off with guys like Jonah Gadjovich, Kole Lind, Petrus Palmu and now, DiPietro, failing to make a major impact.
In the case of DiPietro however, a lot of the blame can fall on the organization for his development.
2020-21 was a weird season for many players, but it was absolutely a detrimental year for DiPietro’s development.
There wasn’t a good reason for the Canucks to botch his development by keeping him on the taxi squad that season. While the organization tried to spin it as a positive since DiPietro got to work closely with legendary goaltending coach Ian Clark, it wasn’t worth it for the lack of playing time he received.
Fresh off of a strong 2019-20 rookie season with the Comets, DiPietro played zero NHL games, and just four AHL games in 2020-21.
You could tell by the start of last season that the lack of playing time affected him.
DiPietro had some great games for the Abby Canucks last season, but he was inconsistent, especially at the beginning of the season.
He finished strong, going 9-4-2, but it might not be enough to salvage his future in Vancouver.
Over the summer, DiPietro’s agent, Darren Ferris, came out and publicly ripped the Canucks’ organization for their handling of the young netminder.
“There are occasions where they’ve dropped the ball on his development,” Ferris told The Province back in July.
“The truth of the matter is that the bulk is more on the organization than it is on the player in this instance. Hopefully, we can get him in the right position.”
“A lot of players wouldn’t even be able to endure the lack of attention that maybe the organization had given to him.”
What’s Next for DiPietro?
Of every player in our Top 25 Under 25 rankings, DiPietro has the most unpredictable future.
He’s officially requested a trade from Vancouver, per his agent. However, he’s yet to find a new NHL home.
Will he be traded for the season starts? Could he be loaned to Europe?
Of course, there’s a chance that he end up back in Abbotsford, battling it out with Arturs Silovs and Collin Delia for playing time. And, the worst case scenario is he could end up in the ECHL.
A goaltender of DiPietro’s calibre doesn’t belong in the ECHL. Heck, I think there’s a good argument that he’s the best goaltending option for Abbotsford right now between himself, Delia and Silovs.
Regardless, it looks like DiPietro won’t be a part of the Canucks’ organization for much longer.