Jets Goalie Prospect DiVincentiis a Potential Draft Steal

The month of March has not been kind to the Winnipeg Jets, as they have won five of their last 17 games and seem to be holding on desperately to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Outside of their recent play, prospects are dominating elsewhere that may be clouded by the Jets’ recent slide. More specifically, Jets seventh-round draft pick, goaltender Dom DiVincentiis has been dominating the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as a member of the North Bay Battalion.

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Dom DiVincentiis Has Been Dominant For Top OHL Team

The Battalion own the second-best record in the OHL at a staggering 45-17-2-1. A big part of that has been the play of DiVincentiis, who leads the league in wins. The 6-foot-2 goaltender has been nothing short of outstanding in his second season in the OHL.

DiVincentiis owns a league-best record of 35-9-2. His .918 save percentage (SV%) and 2.38 goals-against average (GAA) are good for second-highest in the OHL out of goalies that have played over 10 games. For the 207th overall selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Jets organization could not have asked for a better performance in his first season since being selected.

Domenic DiVincentiis North Bay Battalion
Domenic DiVincentiis, North Bay Battalion (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

In 2021-22, he earned a .907 SV% to go along with a 2.59 GAA to build a 14-8-1 record. He has mightily improved as of late along with the team in front of him.

The 19-year-old has won the OHL’s goaltender of the week award three times this season, including twice over the previous three weeks. He has recorded four shutouts on the season which is tied for the second-highest amount in the league. He has been outright dominant, and the Jets franchise may have struck gold on a late-round draft pick.

Connor Hellebuyck was once a fifth-round selection, and I am not bringing that up to say that DiVincentiis will be equivalent to Hellebuyck, but rather that goaltenders are one of the streakiest positions in hockey. Any freshly-drafted player can grow and prove their scouting reports wrong within months, and he did just that when he looked the part in Jets training camp before the season began.

DiVincentiis is not a sure thing by any means, and he is likely a few years away from turning pro, but he has shown the potential to be a hidden gem from the 2022 NHL Draft. Among active goaltenders in the league right now, Anton Khudobin, Anton Forsberg, and Frederik Andersen are among the most successful goaltenders that were selected in the seventh round.

DiVincentiis Could Replenish A Depleted Goalie Prospect Pool

One of the biggest questions surrounding the organization is Hellebuyck’s contract, and whether he is set to hit unrestricted free agency in 2024-25, or potentially be extended this upcoming offseason. It will be a franchise-defining move, as he is one of the most important players in Jets history and will be demanding a big-time pay raise.

Related: Jets Need Dubois, Hellebuyck and Scheifele Long-Term

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After Hellebuyck, the organization does not have a goaltender prospect in the system ready to take the reins. DiVincentiis could shock the NHL world and become the guy in a few seasons, but there is a lot of uncertainty there. Jared Moe is a 23-year-old goaltender that was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and has a 10-17 record, a .898 SV%, and a 3.31 GAA for the University of Wisconsin’s hockey program this season.

Connor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League have a tandem of goaltenders under the age of 24, but neither has shown that they can overtake an NHL role. By default, this makes DiVincentiis the most intriguing goaltender prospect within the organization and has shown the ability to dominate his age group. While he is still likely a few years away from making an impact at the pro level, his dominant play in the OHL is something that fans should keep tabs on over the coming months.

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