Michael DiPietro

DiPietro gets surprising call to join Canucks



By Sam Obermyer


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Michael DiPietro’s promotion to the NHL may not have happened as he scripted but it’s an experience he’ll never forget.

“Definitely a cool opportunity stepping on that ice today, soaking it all in and being around the guys,” DiPietro said after serving as the backup goalie for the Vancouver Canucks in their 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

The Amherstburg native was called up to join the Canucks on an emergency basis after Thatcher Demko was injured in the pregame warmup prior to Vancouver’s Monday night game in Philadelphia.

“I was pretty surprised,” said DiPietro who was playing in the OHL for the Ottawa 67’s. “I was actually at my billet house when it happened. Definitely unexpected but a cool call to get.”

The first person DiPietro shared the surprising news with was his father, Vic DiPietro.

“I called Dad and I told him to put it on speaker so my Mom could hear. I told them and they couldn’t really believe it, they were like ‘What?’ It was kind of funny with the way it all went down but I explained it to them and they were super excited. I think I talked to my Dad 15 times since then.”

Michael DiPietro, pictured on the Vancouver Canucks’ Twitter page, looks around the Capital One Arena in Washington prior to Tuesday night’s game. “This is wild. I’m so excited right now,” DiPietro told the Canucks social media page. (Photo courtesy of www.twitter.com/Canucks)

DiPietro, 19, said he thought a lot about they people back home who got him to this moment.

“I think of my Dad first of all, and all of the sacrifices he made throughout my life, and everyone in Amherstburg that’s helped me. My family, my friends, who since day one have been there for me. And I think of my town itself, it’s a very small town but they love hockey so it’s something that has been really special.”

Canucks head coach Travis Green said before Tuesday’s game that DiPietro would stay with the Canucks until Demko was able to return. It is unknown how long Demko will be out, he flew back to Vancouver on Tuesday for an MRI.

For however long he stays with the Canucks DiPietro is going to make the most of this opportunity.

“To be around the guys at this point in the season battling for a playoff spot and everything, it’s pretty intense. But it’s pretty cool and it’s something that I’m just soaking in and trying to stay out of their way. Just trying to pick their brains a bit as well.”

Fellow Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson said this experience will benefit DiPietro.

“It’s great for him that he can see how it is here because in the future he’s going to be in the NHL.”


Sam Obermyer is a supervisor, SiriusXM D.C. Sports Newsroom


DiPietro makes Team Canada for WJHC



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg native Michael DiPietro has made Team Canada and will be headed to the World Junior Hockey Championships.

DiPietro, now a member of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Ottawa 67’s after his recent trade from Windsor, survived the last round of cuts and will be one of two Canadian goalies at the tournament.

The World Junior Hockey Championships will be played in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. That area is becoming familiar to DiPietro as he is a Vancouver Canucks prospect. The Canucks chose DiPietro in the third round (64th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Michael DiPietro

Team Canada will play its first game in the WJHC Boxing Day against Denmark.

DiPietro was 11-8-1 with a 2.32 goals against average (GAA) and a .920 save percentage in 21 games for the Spitfires this season. In his only game with Ottawa as of press time, he was 1-0-0 with a .960 save percentage and a 1.00 GAA.

The other goalie for Team Canada will be Ian Scott, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect now playing for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

DiPietro signs three-year contract with Canucks



By Ron Giofu


Michael DiPietro was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks last June and now he is officially a member of their organization.

DiPietro, who turns 19 this Saturday, has signed his first contract with the Canucks with the announcement coming last week.

“It’s a standard three-year entry level contract,” he said.

DiPietro was in Toronto for a prospects development camp when he got the word.

“My agent and the Vancouver organization had been in contact about a contract for about three weeks,” he said.

Amherstburg native and Windsor Spitfires goalie signs his contract with the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL team that drafted him in June 2017. This photo, used with his permission, was posted on his Twitter account with the message “So happy to announce that I have signed my first NHL contract with the @Canucks ! Thank you for everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life and now the real work begins! See you soon Vancouver 🏒”

While knowing the deal was close to complete, DiPietro said he got up one morning in his hotel room and saw three missed calls on his phone. He returned the calls to find out the deal was done.

“I ended up signing the contract in the lobby of my hotel that morning. It just kind of snowballed from there,” he said.

Noting he was glad to be drafted by Vancouver, DiPietro said he is grateful for the opportunity to become an official member of the Canucks organization. It is another positive step for DiPietro as he is the current OHL Goaltender of the Year and also was one of the three goalies on Team Canada at the recent World Hockey Championship in Denmark.

“Obviously going to Denmark was a great opportunity to learn a lot and I think I did that,” said DiPietro.

As it looks now, DiPietro said it appears he will be starting the 2018-19 hockey season back with the Windsor Spitfires. He hopes to keep improving while guarding the Spits’ net and also hopes for a trip to the World Junior Hockey Championship this Christmas.

In the meantime, he plans on maintaining his training regimen. While he has a development camp in Vancouver, a possible World Junior camp invite in Kamloops and training camps in both Windsor and Vancouver to prepare for, he plans on finding time to hit the gym as well as the ice with his goalie coaches to help him get ready for the season.

DiPietro said he is grateful for the support his hometown of Amherstburg has given him and gives the town “a big thank you” for all the support he has received. He offers similar thanks to Windsor-Essex County as well as all the Spitfires fans everywhere for the support he has received.

“Hopefully we’ll keep building in the right direction.”


DiPietro heading to Denmark for World Hockey Championships



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg native Michael DiPietro is heading to Denmark to compete in the World Hockey Championships.

The 18-year-old Windsor Spitfires goalie will be the third goalie on Team Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship and compete with and against rosters filled with many NHL players.

“(It’s) definitely intimidating at first. I have a lot of butterflies in my stomach right now,” DiPietro told the Spitfires official website.

DiPietro, who was drafted in the third round (64th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks, in the June 2017 NHL Entry Draft, knows he has to try and “hold my own” against NHL stars that are part of the tournament. He said it is an honour to be named to the team.

“It’s going to be a great learning experience for myself,” he said.

Going to the IIHF World Hockey Championship is “kind of unbelievable” for an 18-year-old goalie and he said he is going to try and learn the habits of established NHL players.

“It’s good for me to pick the brains of not only the players, but the goalies and see what I can learn from them too,” he told the Spitfires’ website.

The full video clip can be viewed at www.windsorspitfires.com.

With the Spitfires in the 2017-18 OHL season, DiPietro played in 56 games and had a 29-21-3-1 record and a 2.79 goals against average. His save percentage was .910 and he had seven shutouts.

Spitfire player Michael DiPietro visits Stella Maris



By Jolene Perron


Amherstburg native and Spitfires player Michael DiPietro had a chance to visit his old grade school to speak with students about the importance of education.

Stella Maris students gave DiPietro a very warm welcome when he walked into their gymnasium. Principal Sophie DiPaolo said through the Adopt-A-School program, they get two batches of tickets that they use as incentive for the students. Any time they are a good friend, they show compassion, they’ve made improvements, anything good, the teacher recognizes them with Rockstar tickets. From those Rockstar tickets, the school draws three tickets from primary, three from Junior and three from senior, and they give out packages of four Spitfire tickets for them to go see the Spitfires home game.

Michael DiPietro made a grand entrance into the Stella Maris gymnasium, where students greeted him with cheers, Spitfire colored pompoms, and smiles.

“We’re really fortunate to have that here at Stella Maris and the kids love it, they love the Spitfires,” said DiPaolo. “We try to give back to the Spitfires because of what they do for us and then every year they send a Spitfire player here. This is the first year we’ve been able to have Michael DiPietro because his schedule would never allow it. In High School it’s a little bit harder but he’s in University now so we were excited to know he was coming back here and of course you want to do something special for him.”

In addition to speaking with the gymnasium full of students, DiPietro also had a pizza lunch with a handful of Rockstar students who had the ability to sit and chat with him over a pizza lunch.

“I went to this grade school, I had so many memories here, so many teachers. That’s something that I’ll always remember,” said DiPietro. “Hopefully I can keep coming back and visiting because every time I step in the door I just remember old memories. It’s definitely special.”

During his visit, he also pointed out his fifth grade teacher, Mike Mathieson and gifted a signed goalie stick to him. DiPaolo said no one can say enough good things about DiPietro and he is a great role model for the students.

“Kids always want to look up to someone and he was not only a great student here and does talk about how important education is but he’s a great role model in the community,” said DiPaolo. “He’s just a wonderful role model in general, a good person, good everything, with or without the Spitfire jersey.”