In a bit of unexpected news today, Team Canada has invited 18-year-old Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro to the World Championship in Denmark
I'm hearing #Canucks prospect goalie Michael DiPietro has been invited by Canada for the World Hockey championships, most likely 3rd goalie. Canucks to be represented by Bo Horvat and DiPietro.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) April 24, 2018
At the time of that tweet, it was just a report but DiPietro was on Sportsnet 650 shortly after and confirmed that he did receive an invite.
This is a fantastic opportunity for the Canucks prospect as it allows him to travel with the team and practice with NHL’rs for a few weeks even if it’s just as a 3rd goaltender. The idea of inviting a young goaltender to experience the World Championships has been something that the USA has been doing for a few years and it appears that Team Canada management also sees the benefit. Fellow Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko had filled the same 3rd goalie role for Team USA in 2016. It’s really encouraging to see the 3rd goalie slot being put to use rather than having a professional come over and sit in the pressbox. As mentioned before, there are quite a few benefits to having a player like DiPietro there to soak in everything he can.
DiPietro was the last goaltending cut for Canada for the World Juniors and is expected to be the starter for Canada at the 2019 World Juniors here in Vancouver/Victoria. It was unfortunate that DiPietro didn’t make the team but Carter Hart and Colton Point played well throughout the evaluation process and in the tournament. It will be interesting to see how DiPietro does as the expected starter for Canada over the course of the season.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) February 9, 2018
The 2017 3rd round pick had a very good season considering that the Windsor Spitfires purged their roster after their Memorial Cup championship. DiPietro was left to hold down the fort as the organization went through a transition period to load up again. Despite that turnover, DiPietro was near the league leaders in all goaltending categories including leading the OHL with 7 shutouts. Despite losing in six games to Sarnia, DiPietro finished the series with a sparkly 0.934 SV%.
It’s fair to believe that DiPietro won’t suit up for any games for Canada at the upcoming World Championships, but being invited is a very good indication of what Hockey Canada thinks of DiPietro’s future. It’s a fantastic opportunity for him to get more prepared for the World Juniors.
At this moment, the Canucks will be represented by Michael DiPietro and Bo Horvat with Team Canada while Anders Nilsson and Elias Pettersson will represent Sweden.
Rick Dhaliwal did mention later that Thatcher Demko is a possibility as the USA 3rd goaltender but will obviously depend on what happens with Utica this week.