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Michael DiPietro is having a dominant OHL playoff run

When the Ottawa 67’s acquired Michael DiPietro prior to the OHL trade deadline, they believed they found the final piece of a Memorial Cup puzzle. The decision to go all-in on one of the NHL’s top goaltending prospects is paying off.

DiPietro has posted a 2.26 goals against average and a .913 save percentage through 12 games, helping the 67’s sweep their way to the OHL Final. The team is awaiting the winner of the Saginaw Spirit and Guelph Storm to determine who they’ll play for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

Ottawa’s run through the playoffs has been ridiculously impressive. While sweeping the eighth-seeded Hamilton Bulldogs in the first round of the playoffs wasn’t overly surprising, sweeping the Sudbury Wolves and Oshawa Generals, two teams who had 43 and 44 wins on the season respectively, was a wild feat.

Heading into next season, DiPietro will be in the mix for the starting gig on the Canucks’ AHL team in Utica. Barring some kind of unforeseen change, the Canucks will roll with Jacob Markstrom as their starting goalie and Thatcher Demko as his backup as the rookie eases into the NHL. That would leave DiPietro competing with Jake Kielly and possibly another veteran for playing time in the AHL.

Richard Bachman is currently under contract with the Canucks for one more season. Due to injuries, Bachman played just nine games for the Comets, posting an 0.884 save percentage. Kielly, an undrafted NCAA free agent who inked a two-year entry-level deal in April, is coming off a very strong season in which he posted a 0.929 save percentage for Clarkson University.

If the Canucks don’t want to have two rookie goalies in the AHL at the same time, they could keep Bachman around and start one of DiPietro or Kielly in the ECHL. While playing in the ECHL is a bit of a death sentence for position players, it isn’t the same deal for goalies. For example, in 2007-08, Jonathan Quick started in the ECHL, worked his way up to the AHL, and then finally got into three games for the Los Angeles Kings before taking over the net at the NHL level the next season.

  • Fred-65

    DiPietro needs some growth hormone to have him grow another 3″ or 4″. There is currently ONE NHL goalie who is 6′ and that Casey DeSmith, Ben Bishop is 6’7″ Good luck to the kid but he’s pushing the odds

  • Hockey Bunker

    Glad you mentioned Jonathan Quick. Mikey DiPietro is in that mold, athletic, short and wide, not a shot blocking piece of plywood like many of the big goalies. Quickness and technique could make him special. The odds are against him, but wasn’t long ago people said the same things about small forwards and small defensemen. Ian Clark is the best goalie coach there is. So I’m not hung up on a tape measure.

    • Cageyvet

      Pre-judging a player based on height is old-school and while I’m pretty old-school myself, you can’t put the blinders on. Lots of gargantuan goalies struggle, and I like the analogy to smaller players at other positions. Martin St. Louis won the scoring title, special players make you forget the conventional molds.

      DiPietro displays the characteristics that suggest he may break the mold, and either way, he’s our player now, this is not a debate about whether or not to draft him, so let’s cross our fingers. I admit his size means he’s most likely boom or bust, but with Clark as his coach and his fighting spirit, I wouldn’t bet against him.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Miley seems to be a character guy and that one crappy game against SJS shouldn’t be dwelled upon too much. The kid took it pretty well IMO and that one thing along should allow one to cut him some slack. Maybe he might not make it but I’m sure DiPietro intends to have a lot to say about that when the time comes.

    • Kevlar73

      In interviews that I’ve listened to with Mikey good character just oozes out of him. He’s going to be an NHL goaltender. It might not be for the Canucks but he’s an excellent prospect to have in the System