Weight: 193 pounds
Date of birth: June 9, 1999
Hometown: Amherstburg, ON
OHL Draft: Round 2, 23rd overall, 2015 OHL Priority Selection
I’m not usually a fan of goaltenders being drafted in the first round but every once in a while a prospect comes along that you have to give it serious consideration. Malcolm Subban was the last Ontario Hockey League goaltender selected in the first round of the National Hockey League Draft (24th overall in 2012 by the Boston Bruins), and setting aside hindsight, an argument can be made whether it was the correct choice or not.
Michael DiPietro of the Windsor Spitfires will rightfully garner attention as a first rounder in 2017.
DiPietro played his midget hockey for the Sun County Panthers where he posted a 2.12 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. He also led Team Ontario Under-16’s to a gold medal at the Canada Winter Games with a 0.75 goals against average and a .970 save percentage. That set the stage for Spitfires’ General Manager Warren Rychel to select him in the second round of the OHL Draft.
DiPietro made an immediate impact in the OHL in his rookie season 16-8-1-1 record with a 2.45 goals against average and .912 save percentage. He won the Dinty Moore Trophy for having the best rookie goals against average and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team at the end of the season.
DiPietro also played for Team Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17’s where he posted the tournaments best goals against average at 1.75 and in those five games had a save percentage of .929. He was also a standout for Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. In 3 appearances he posted a 2.00 goals against average as well as a .920 save percentage.
This season, DiPietro is taking the next step ranking near the top of the league in both goals against average and save percentage.
DiPietro lacks the size that NHL teams seem to covet when it comes to goaltenders nowadays. But what he lacks in size, he makes up with talent.
DiPietro is very agile and athletic. His side to side movement is very quick as is his ability to get into position. He plays a composed game and tracks the puck extremely well. His reflexes are excellent and trusts his abilities. He’s very good in close and remains calm in those situations. His positioning is excellent especially with shots coming through traffic. He is so positionally sound that the puck just hits him through that traffic, or if deflected, can get a pad or glove on it.
If there was one area that DiPietro needed to work on it is his rebound control. From last season to now, he has improved in that area of his game, but it continues to be a work in progress.
As hosts of the 2017 Memorial Cup, the Windsor Spitfires will be playing into May and there will be a lot of eyes on DiPietro. If you are a gambler, don’t bet against him.
Statistics of Michael DiPietro, a hockey player from Amherstburg, ONT born Jun 9 1999 who was active from 2015 to 2017.