Spitfires trade Michael DiPietro to Ottawa

Michael's father Vic (left), Michael DiPietro (centre) & Spits GM Warren Rychel (right). Dec 4, 2018. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

The Windsor Spitfires have traded their star goalie.

Michael DiPietro is going to the Ottawa 67’s for Russian forward Egor Afanasyev, Ottawa’s second-round picks in 2019, 2022, and 2023, London’s 2nd round pick in 2021, and three more of Ottawa’s conditional picks in 2021 and 2022.

Spits General Manager Warren Rychel said the team is too far back in the standings and is reloading to make another run at a championship.

Rychel said he always knew DiPietro was going to be a special goalie and it’s one of the most difficult trades he’s ever made.

“I used to tell him, you know you’re going to play for the Spitfires one day and I would take slap shots as hard as I could at him and it didn’t even bother him, he was 10 years old on the ice. So, I saw him grow into a fine young goalie,” said Rychel.

Dipietro said he always knew this day would come but isn’t ready to leave the community where he grew up, the fans or his teammates.

“I’m a Spitfire and I always will be no matter where I go. I look back with so many memories and I’m excited to get going with Ottawa but in the back of my mind I’m always going to be wondering how we’re doing here,” DiPietro said.

Dipietro said it’s a bitter pill to swallow but it’s the best thing for him and the Spitfires.

“Warren and I have known each other for a very long time and the Windsor Spitfire organization has given me a lot and it was my turn to give back and do what I could. Anytime I can help Windsor in any way, it’s a positive,” added DiPietro.

Rychel added he broke the news to the DiPietro family at their home in Amherstburg Monday night.

The Spitfires also sent their fourth-round pick in 2020 and Kingston’s second-round pick in 2024 to Ottawa.

Afanasyev, 17, is in his second season with the Muskegeon Lumberjacks of the USHL. The 6’2″ player has 17 goals and 23 assists in 64 career games there. Rychel hopes to sign Afanasyev this summer. He doesn’t anticipate any more moves this season unless there’s a deal that “knocks his socks off”.

The Spits also added goaltender Colton Incze from Niagara in exchange for their 4th round pick in 2022. The 19-year-old from Oakville has played in 41 games over parts of three seasons, including five this season, compiling a career 11-15-0 record.