As you probably know by now, the Boston Bruins traded Jack Studnicka to the Vancouver Canucks for Goaltender Michael DiPietro and Defenceman Jonathan Myrenberg.
My focus this week is on the right shot blueliner and what we can expect. Yes, he was a former fifth round selection – 140th overall – at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Again yes, he was a late pick, but I have often maintained this is the type of player you look for at those spots – a player that has shown potential yet is a few years away.
Myrenberg is still raw with a lot of developing left to do. I don’t want to sugar coat this and will give you my honest assessment. He has shown a lot of skill with the puck on his stick with some excellent puck possession skills. He has an ability to go end to end. My issue is that when he gets to where he wants to go, he doesn’t always make the right decision. Now, in fairness, a lot of times he looks like he’s trying to do it all on his own. When he utilizes his teammates better, it will only be a plus for him. But the puck skills are there.
I do like Myrenberg’s shot. He actually has a very good one-timer and when he gets time and space on the powerplay to get it off he is capable of beating netminders with it. He also has a very good wrister. He finds the target consistently. My issue is that he is always trying to beat goaltenders and sometimes it’s better to shoot with a purpose rather than trying to blow it past the goalie. I don’t see much in the way of powerplay quarterback in his future. He can play on the PP but it’s in the left faceoff circle firing away one-timers.
There are things to like defensively and things to work on, like any 19-year-old. Actually, in a zone defence system he is actually pretty good. He knows where his responsibility is and he doesn’t go chasing. He has a long stick and is very active with it. He also blocks shots regularly. He will need to work on defending against the rush. When defending his blueline, he usually attacks the puck carrier by going forward rather than holding his line or backing up and that can get him into trouble.
Myrenberg is a 6’3” – 200 pounder who, once he gets his feet moving generates enough top end speed. However, he lacks an explosiveness or first few steps. On the plus side his mechanics are great, and his edgework and mobility are above average. I see some issues in his backwards skating. There’s enough there that a good skating coach can work with him on the speed issues.
That all said, Myrenberg is a project that is a few years away and it’s all about developing at this stage. I look forward to mapping out his progression.
As for DiPietro, he was a Junior goaltender in the Ontario Hockey League that came with a lot of promise and an excellent resume. With Keith Kinkaid and Kyle Keyser in Providence and Brandon Bussi and Francois Brassard in Maine, there isn’t a whole lot of room to add DiPietro so the Bruins may be intent with loaning him to another franchise. Remember when the St Louis Blues loaned Jordan Binnington to the Providence Bruins?
In 2015-2016 DiPietro was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team and had the best GAA at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17. During the 2016-2017 season, he won the Memorial Cup, was named to the Memorial Cup All-Star team, was named Memorial Cup Most Outstanding Goaltender, led the OHL in shutouts and was named to the OHL Third All-Star Team. In 2017-2018 he was named the OHL’s Most Outstanding Goaltender and to the OHL First All-Star Team. In 2018-2019 he led the OHL in GAA average, had the best GAA at the World Junior Championships and was named one of Team Canada’s Top 3- Players. He won the World Junior Championship Gold Medal in 2020.
Where did it go wrong for DiPietro?
It’s a shame that the Canucks used the emergency callup clause to bring him up from Junior to play an NHL game. It was what it was and DiPietro got shell shocked. But his transition later on to the AHL was not as bad as some make it out to be. And ask any Junior goaltender, the transition from junior to the AHL is more difficult than the transition from the A to the NHL.
But what really hurt DiPietro in my humble opinion was when the Canucks refused to spend a little money for a veteran goaltender on the NHL Taxi squad during the COVID season and kept DiPietro there without playing a game in a season where playing games was needed to further his development. In other words, he lost a full season of development and that takes time to get back.
Now it’s up to Bob Essensa and Mike Dunham to work with DiPietro to get him back on track and be the goaltender many thought he was capable of being. It’s not going to happen overnight, if at all. But one thing I know about DiPietro after following him for 7 years is that if he puts the effort into doing the necessary work to get back on track as he does in doing whatever he can to stop pucks, then he’ll be fine. I still believe there is an NHL goaltender in there, now it’s up to the Bruins coaches to help him find his way.
Here’s a look at the Providence Bruins leaders:
Coming up this week:
|PLAYER||MON 31||TUE 1||WED 2||THU 3||FRI 4||SAT 5||SUN 6|
|BYCHKOV||At MET||Vs TOR|
|MANTYKIVI||Vs JUK||Vs JYP||Vs KOO|
|MYRENBERG||@ ALM||Vs BIL||Vs TIN|
|JELLVIK/GASEAU/KUNTAR||@ MER||Vs MER|
|LANGENBRUNNER||Vs BRN||Vs YAL|
|SPICER/OLSON||@ COL||@ COL|
|DURAN/SVEDEBACK||Vs MAS||@ MAS|
|MCFAUL||Vs UNI||Vs REN|
|POITRAS||@ SAR||@ SOO||@ FLT|
|HARRISON||Vs PBO||Vs SAG|
|MAST||Vs GUE||@ WSR||Vs FLT|
|EDWARD||Vs ER||@ O S|
|BRUNET||Vs SHA||@ CHI||@ QUE|
|DYCK||Vs VAN||Vs R D||@ REG|
Stream CHL games here NCAA available here: Thursday Nov 3, Friday Nov 4 and Saturday Nov 5.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Dans Locmelis is on an 8-game point streak (after a small calling out on this blog I might add). He has 4G and 6A in those 8 games. He’s up to 8th in J20 Nationell League scoring.
Philip Svedeback has a 4-2-1 record with Providence College and a 1.97 goals-against-average and .915 save-percentage. As a freshman, he’s taken the starter’s job and run with it.
Frederic Brunet has 2 goals and 5 assists in his last 5 games and 2 goals 10 assists in his last 10 games. He is the straw that stirs the Rimouski Oceanic drink and as he goes, they go and now leads the team in scoring.
Although he is pointless in his last two games, Riley Duran is a point per game player and leads Providence in goals and points through 7 games. He’s really just taken his performance at the WJC and carried it over into the season. I would not be surprised if the sophomore turned pro after this season.
Jackson Edward scored his first career OHL goal Friday. The Shutdown defender followed that up by scoring again Saturday and adding an assist.
Brett Harrison has 4 goals and an assist in 7 games since returning from a lower body injury. He’s back in the middle of the ice and where he is more comfortable after spending a few games on LW after his return.
Ryan Mast has 8 assists through 12 games and is on pace to double his career high from a season ago. I’m concerned that he is still looking for his first goal of the season and will need to go on a tear to reach the 9 he scored a season ago.
Quinn Olson ended a 5-game pointless streak on Friday with an assist. He would add two more helpers on Saturday. Olson is still looking for his first goal of the season.
Matthew Poitras returned to action after a two-game suspension for a slew foot last week. On Sunday, in the second period, he received a major and game misconduct for you guessed it, a slew foot. He will be looking at more than 2 games this time.
Ty Gallagher is pointless in 6 games. While his defensive game is coming along beautifully, adding to the offense he supplied last season is a must. Doesn’t help that he gets virtually no powerplay time.
Cole Spicer is pointless through his last 6 games and has 1 assist in 8 games. Am I being too tough on the freshman?
Dustyn McFaul still out with an injury. Reid Dyck returned from an injury. Roman Bychkov has finally returned to action after his injury.
Newly acquired Jonathan Myrenberg went pointless in two weekend games since the Bruins acquired his rights from the Vancouver Canucks.
Matias Mantykivi has just 3G and 3A through 17 Liiga games and is far below the pace he set last season. While the struggles are there offensively, he is turning into an elite defensive player down the middle for Ilves.