The Vancouver Canucks sign goaltender Michael DiPietro

WINDSOR, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Goaltender Michael DiPietro
WINDSOR, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Goaltender Michael DiPietro /

The Vancouver Canucks ink one more member from their 2017 draft class. Michael DiPietro bolsters the goaltender position in the prospect pool after an incredible season.

Jim Benning and the Vancouver Canucks didn’t wait too long for this one. The team announced the signing of Michael DiPietro to an entry-level contract. With his signing, DiPietro is the fifth player from the Canucks 2017 draft class to earn a contract.

The kid from Amherstburg, Ontario had a memorable season. Of course, it had its ups and downs, but DiPietro was nothing short of spectacular this year. His team, the Windsor Spitfires, chose to strip itself down for a rebuild. DiPietro was a man on an island, holding down the fort and still excelling during the season.

In fact, he was named the OHL goaltender of the year earlier this month. DiPietro led the league in shutouts (7) and was top five in save percentage and goals against average. Furthermore, those seven shutouts were a franchise record for the Spitfires, breaking his previous record from the previous year.

Finally, the young netminder was the backbone of the Spitfires during the playoffs. Windsor ultimately fell to Sarnia in six games, but DiPietro was doing everything he could to keep his team in the series.

Unfortunately, DiPietro was one of the final cuts for Team Canada at the World Juniors. It was too bad, but he kept his head up despite the rough news. By the time the World Championships rolled around, Hockey Canada brought DiPietro on as the third-string goaltender. He practiced with some of the best players available to Canada and got a chance to know Bo Horvat a little better.

More from Canucks News

The Canucks’ future in net

Going into the 2017 draft, I was starting to get concerned. It looked like the Canucks were going to put everything on Thatcher Demko regarding goaltending. Don’t get me wrong, Demko is great. However, having no other prospects behind him was still disconcerting.

That’s why I was glad the Canucks selected DiPietro in the third round. Goaltenders are harder to evaluate and their longer development paths don’t require them to be picked every year. Despite that fact, it doesn’t hurt to pick a goaltender every now and then.

Furthermore, banking on a single player without a back up plan is a disaster in the making. Smart teams layer their prospect pools to account for unforeseen circumstances. And in the goaltending area, the Canucks have done well for themselves.

Next: Canucks need to focus on speed and skill over muscle

Unfortunately, the old controversy between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider is long gone. Since then, the Canucks rarely have the luxury, despite being a former goalie factory long ago. Maybe we will get that in the future with Demko and DiPietro. Whatever happens, I hope both netminders find success. They are off to promising starts and with Demko knocking on the NHL’s door, I can’t wait to see what comes next.