Habs future star ready to shine?
Good luck to the Saskatoon Blades in their playoff series against Medicine Hat. Habs fans, you should be cheering for recently signed Darren Dietz, who pounded 24 goals to lead the WHL.
His coach and GM Lorne Molleken tells me Dietz is “a leader and a great teammate.”
Molleken was an assistant coach when the San Jose Sharks brought up a young WHL defenseman who’d defied the odds too---Josh Gorges.
Like Gorges, Dietz was not even drafted by his junior squad.
“He’s hard to play against, tough, physical and I like his mindset. He’s the first to arrive and the last to leave,” says Molleken.
Dietz was a 5th round pick in 2011, lost more than 110 selections below the highly-touted Nathan Beaulieu. A show of confidence? Dietz started taking a French language course online.
“No one even told him to do it,” Coach Molleken points out. The 6’1 Medicine Hat, Alberta native once given a recommendation to the Blades by Rich Sutter is clearly a self-starter.
Assistant GM Jarrod Brodsky compares Dietz to Avalanche prospect Stefan Elliot, who scored 57 goals his last 2 seasons on the blueline in Saskatoon.
“He’s got a hard shot and very accurate, but he also likes to use a quick wrister from the point,” says Brodsky. “Now he also plays with an edge against other teams’ top lines.”
His farewell to Saskatoon is a playoff run they all hope leads to the Memorial Cup. Dietz should then be invited to 2013 summer and fall camps with the Canadiens.
We’ll find out if the online French course paid off and he can say “Coupe” or “c’est le buuuuuuuuut!”
“I really think he’ll be in the NHL sooner rather than later,” says Molleken.