Photo Credit: NHL.com

Michael DiPietro traded to Ottawa 67’s in OHL blockbuster

It’s been an eventful 48 hours for Canucks’ top goaltending prospect Michael DiPietro.

Just a day after being named to Team Canada’s roster for the 2019 World Junior Selection camp, DiPietro has been traded from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL to the Ottawa 67’s in exchange for forward Yegor Afanasyev, four second-round draft picks and three conditional picks.

The 67’s also receive two other draft picks in the trade.

DiPietro is considered the greatest goaltender the Spitfires have seen in their 45-year history. He led the team to the Memorial Cup championship in 2017 and became the first player in franchise history last season to be named OHL goalie of the year.

The 19-year-old got emotional when talking about leaving Windsor.

“It’s still sinking in,” DiPietro said. “I won’t be parking here on Thursday for a home game. I won’t be walking down (to the entrance) and I won’t be saying hi to the people I say hi to and having a coffee. That stuff’s done. It’s done.

“I don’t think I’ve stopped crying all day to be honest, or all night. I didn’t really sleep a lot last night and definitely flying on a plane tonight (to Ottawa) won’t be easy. Leaving my family and leaving my girlfriend’s hard. I feel like a piece of me is leaving.”

DiPietro leaves Windsor with 86 wins in 157 career games and 16 career shutouts, tying the OHL record set by Thomas McCollum. In 21 games this season, he’s posted a .920 save percentage and 2.32 GAA.

The Ottawa 67’s are stockpiling talent and are looking to win an OHL title for the first time since 2001. They are currently on a 23-game winning streak and are considered the favourites in the league alongside the London Knights.

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DiPietro was a third-round pick of the Canucks in the 2017 NHL Draft and is considered the frontrunner to be Canada’s starting goaltender at the 2019 World Junior Championship beginning Boxing Day in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.