December was one of the toughest months I’ve ever had coming up with the top performer among the Ontario Hockey League’s draft eligible players as there were literally a hand full of performances that, if you picked one over another you couldn’t go wrong.
With that out of the way, I’ve decided to go with Windsor Spitfires’ goaltender Michael DiPietro.
DiPietro started eight games during the month and came in in relief in the final game of 2016 with just 3 minutes remaining. He posted a 6-2-0-0 record with a jaw dropping 1.50 goals against average and .940 save percentage.
DiPietro posted three consecutive shutouts with a shutout streak that lasted 202 minutes and 57 seconds. Thus, he was named the OHL Player of the Week and the Canadian Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Week.
The scale tipped in DiPietro’s favor because he kept the Spitfires within striking distance of the Soo Greyhounds for top spot in the Central Division despite missing top scorers Logan Brown and Gabriel Vilardi for almost the entire month.
Also considered were Mississauga Steelheads’ teammates, forward Owen Tippett (11 goals, 6 assists in 12 games), and defenceman Nicolas Hague (5 goals, 8 assists in 12 games) as well as Soo Greyhounds defenceman Conor Timmins (3 goals, 9 assists in 10 games), and a pair of Owen Sound Attack forwards, Nick Suzuki (5 goals, 10 assists in 9 games) and Jonah Gadjovich (9 goals, 5 assists in 9 games).
November – Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack
October – Gabriel Vilardi – Windsor Spitfires
September – Greg Meireles – Kitchener Rangers