Posts Tagged ‘Canucks Michael DiPietro’

VANCOUVER, B.C – It all starts with building from the net out, and the Vancouver Canucks are setting themselves up for terrific goaltending stability for years to come. The selection of Windsor Spitfires goalkeeper, Michael DiPietro shows that the organization is determined to have a solid future one-two punch with, Thatcher Demko, and DiPietro.

Selected 64th overall in third round of this years NHL draft, DiPietro had a somewhat of an inkling that Vancouver might be the team to call his name at the United Center in Chicago.

“I met with them at the combine,” said DiPietro following Canucks Development camp on Tuesday. “I thought the interview went really really well. I really didn’t think a lot of it. Going into that day, I wanted to keep an open mind. I didn’t hear my name called on the first day, so we came back he second day. I couldn’t go to a better organization, I’m happy to be here.”

The Amherstburg, Ontario native, saw his stock climb after helping the Windsor Spitfires win the 2017 Memorial Cup. The 18 year-old, was a brick wall in net for the hosts. Many fans, scouts, and pundits had him rated as the top goaltender heading into the draft.

“I think it definitely helped my stock in more ways than one,” said DiPietro of the Memorial Cup win. “It shows that I can perform under pressure. Especially being relatively young, and especially being from the area also. I think I showed people that no matter what my size is, I think I can play out there, get the job done, night in, and night out. I’m very happy to be here.”

Having a goaltender that has beaten the odds, and shown that he can compete no matter what the circumstances, is exactly the kind of player, and character athlete every team needs. Listed at 6-foot, and 200 pounds, DiPietro isn’t going to wow you with his frame. He has his fair share of doubters, and he has no problem waving his glove-hand at them.

“I think I’m a hybrid,” revealed DiPietro. “Like you said, I’m a battler. I use my athleticism, my flexibility to get across. My ability to read a play, I think has got better. My instincts are what keeps me afloat sometimes. ‘Grade A scoring chance’, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to stop the puck, and not let that little black thing go over the line.”

Growing up a stones throw away from Detroit, DiPietro was an avid Red Wings fan during his youth years. While watching the Wings Stanley Cup victories, he cheered for Steve Yzerman, Nick Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, and Dominik Hašek. He models his game after a Los Angeles Kings puck-stopper that Canucks fans know all too well.

“I look up to Jonathan Quick,” said DiPietro. “The way he battles, my game is quite similar to his. Just the way we use our flexibility. We’re not six-foot, five, out there, but we can play like we’re six-foot, five out there. We get the proper points in the crease, and good spots. He’s definitely a goalie that I look up to, especially with Stanley Cup rings on his finger.”

DiPietro is likely headed back to Windsor for a couple of more seasons in the OHL He wants to improve his technical side, and put his best skate forward. He won’t make it easy for the Canucks to send him back to junior. If he can keep developing as a goaltender, he could be part of a successful tandem with 21 year-old, Thatcher Demko.

“That’d be awesome, to see my name next to Thatcher’s,” said an enthusiastic DiPietro. “He’s a great goaltender. To be mentioned like that, especially playing for Vancouver. I think that’s a goal of mine, I think it’s any kids goal to make it to the NHL.”

In the ever evolving NHL, you need two competitive goalies who have a healthy compete level with each other. Michael DiPietro could very well be a diamond in the crease that could be the next great Vancouver Canucks goalie.

 

Advertisements