Michael DiPietro was one of the best Vancouver Canucks youngsters at the team’s Summer Showdown this past July, making many acrobatic saves against some talented forwards like Petrus Palmu and Tyler Madden.
Fans will get a further glimpse at his talent at next week’s Young Stars Classic in Penticton, but they’re already getting a look at his personality.
That’s because DiPietro’s mask designer released the Ontario native’s first Canucks cage today.
Goalie mask artist David Gunnarson posted DiPietro’s design on Instagram today, and it’s a beauty.
View this post on Instagram
Today we have the honor to unleash Mike DiPietro’s first Canucks mask🐳👊🏻. It was very exciting to paint this Storyteller piece to you Deeps, welcome to the DaveArt Family🙏🏻😊! I cant wait to create all your future masks... This bucket is a true storyteller📕, the more you look at it the more details you will discover, and the mask enters a new dimension of detail work👀🔍... One thing Mike knew was he wanted to pay tribute to Broncos on the mask❤️.... Mike and I brainstormed a lot how to build the design, we wanted mountains in the design, and the orca... All created in a new way. We came up with a design plan and I picked up my airbrush guns and let them get to work🤓💪🏻. Thanks Mike! #mikedipietro @canucks @nhl @daveart #DaveArtTheStoryteller #DaveArtTheCradleOfCreativity @theahl @uticacomets @bauergoalie #DaveArtThePaintNerd
The Humboldt Broncos logo is emblazoned on the side of the mask and, according to Gunnarson, it was very important to DiPietro that he pay homage to the team after April’s horrific bus crash.
“One thing Mike knew was he wanted to pay tribute to [the] Broncos on the mask,” said Gunnarson in the post.
The Broncos will return to the ice on September 12 and have been one of the biggest stories of the hockey world all summer. Washington Capitals forward and Saskatoon native Chandler Stephenson brought the Stanley Cup to Humboldt earlier this month.
There’s also a decidedly local flavour to the mask: mountains and the Canucks’ orca logo are featured prominently, as is the Vancouver-filmed CW drama Riverdale.
DiPietro seems to be a fairly prominent fan of the show, as he’s tweeted about Archie and the gang in the past.
Coming off a season in which he won OHL Goaltender of the Year, DiPietro seems like the favourite to guide Team Canada at the World Juniors in December. He'll likely also show up at a Canucks' preseason contest or two in September.
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