The Vancouver Canucks have been on a prospect-signing spree of late, inking extremely hyped Swede Elias Petterson, as well as pint-sized Finnish forward Petrus Palmu.
Today, the team continued that trend, getting Michael DiPietro’s name on a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 18-year-old netminder was named the OHL’s goaltender of the year in his third season with the Windsor Spitfires. He posted a .910 save percentage, 2.79 GAA to go along with 29 wins. He also had a franchise record seven shutouts and led the Spitfires to a Memorial Cup title in 2017.
The third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft appears to be another nice pick by the Canucks’ scouting staff. He was selected to Canada’s World Championship squad this spring but didn’t see any playing time behind veteran NHLers Curtis McElhinney and Darcy Kuemper.
It makes one wonder what the Canucks will do at the goaltending position this coming season. The team needs at least four goaltenders at the pro level, and with DiPietro coming in and veteran AHLer Richard Bachman without a contract, all would seem to make sense.
After all, the Canucks could have Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson at the pro level while DiPietro and fellow prospect Thatcher Demko handle things in Utica.
There’s a common belief that the Canucks would rather see how Demko asserts himself in the NHL though. And it doesn’t seem to make sense to bring DiPietro up to the pro level only to give Demko the majority of the games. DiPietro could also be sent back down to the OHL, but that seems a tad unlikely as he doesn’t have much to prove there.
Something has to give, and the odd man out could be Nilsson. Look for Vancouver to explore a trade for the big Swede after his play in the World Championships and sign a veteran AHL 'tender.
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