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Former top Vancouver Canucks goaltending prospect Michael DiPietro doesn’t sound too pleased with his situation, according to his agent Darren Ferris.
The longtime power agent told Ben Kuzma of The Province that his client was “mismanaged” by the Canucks organization and that the club dropped the ball with the 23-year-old’s development.
Ferris added that DiPietro, who accepted the Canucks' qualifying offer earlier this month, was looking for a new opportunity, with his future uncertain and several goalies ahead of him on the depth chart.
“There hasn’t been too much movement (in the offseason) in terms of an opportunity, but once we get through that period it should be easier,” Ferris said to Kuzma. “I think right now we have a shortage of good goalies of Michael’s ilk in the market. And he probably needs a new start.”
Once a rising star in the Canucks organization, DiPietro has hit his share of bumps since he represented Canada at the 2019 World Juniors as the team's starting goaltender.
Most notably was the Canucks' handling of DiPietro during the NHL’s COVID-shortened 2021 season. DiPietro’s frequent travels with the taxi squad limited his playing time at the NHL and AHL levels during a key developmental year, stunting his growth as a top prospect.
While Ferris says the 2017 Memorial Cup winner remained even-keeled throughout his entire Canucks tenure, Ferris ridiculed the Canucks for their lack of attentiveness to the netminder during his stint in B.C.
“He’s really mature and a very special person and has handled everything quite well,” Ferris noted. “A lot of players wouldn’t even be able to endure the lack of attention that maybe the organization had given to him.
“There are occasions where they’ve dropped the ball on his development. The truth of the matter is that the bulk is more on the organization than it is on the player in this instance. Hopefully, we can get him in the right position.”
DiPietro has generally yo-yoed between different levels throughout his Canucks career, which hasn’t helped him find his footing. In just three NHL games dating back to the 2018-19 season, DiPietro boasts a ghastly .771 save percentage, including his forgettable NHL debut where he allowed seven tallies against.
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