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World Junior Summer Showcase

...four Canucks prospects headed to Kamloops this week

by Derek Jory @NoJoryous / Vancouver Canucks

Mike DiPietro is a man on a mission. 

The 19-year-old, drafted in the 3rd round, 64th overall by the Canucks in 2017, was the final goalie cut from Team Canada before the World Junior Hockey Championship last December.

He held his head high, wished Team Canada luck and returned his attention to the Windsor Spitfires, finishing the season as OHL Goaltender of the Year and on the OHL First All-Star Team. 

Since then he's signed a three-year entry-level contract with Vancouver, was a member of Team Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Championship and attended Canucks Prospects Development Camp. 

Next up for the 6-foot-1, 200-pound DiPietro is 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, BC. The 11-game round-robin tournament will be attended by 40-plus Canadians hoping to crack Team Canada's roster for the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships this December in Vancouver and Victoria, BC. 

A spot on the team eluded DiPietro last year. This time around he's hoping for a happier ending. 

"Last year, [not making the team] was definitely not ideal," he told Canucks.com during the World Championship. "Little bit of heartbreak there, but it made me a better goalie and a better person.

"My whole life it's been about making this team or making that team and having a little adversity thrown in my face, at the time it wasn't very fun, but looking back on it, it was probably the best thing for me. I'm going into this year really hungry for it and it will help me be better."   

The Amherstburg, Ontario native has taken part in four other Team Canada sanctioned events: 2015 Canada Winter Games, 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, 2017 National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp and 2017 National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp. 

Puck drops July 30th in Kamloops at the Sandman Centre, with Team Canada (split into red & white squads) playing their first game July 31st.

DiPietro is chomping at the bit. 

"Not making the team helps you not be complacent and feel entitled to anything," he said. "Everything is earned and I've always had that mentality, so I'm really grateful for the opportunity to try again this year." 

JETT WOO 

It's been a hectic few weeks for the 17-year-old Manitoba product, who was drafted by Vancouver 37th overall at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He then attended Canucks Prospects Development Camp before spending a few weeks in Manitoba, preparing for Kamloops and the World Junior Summer Showcase.  

Woo also has experience with Hockey Canada as he represented his country at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 World Junior Championship. 

"It's an honour to get invited and have the chance to compete for a spot on Team Canada," said Woo, during Canucks Prospects camp. "I'm going to treat that camp the same way I treated this one, I'll play my game and learn as much as possible along the way." 

QUINN HUGHES 

The Canucks seventh overall pick from the 2018 NHL Draft is no stranger to USA Hockey.  

The 18-year-old defenceman from Florida, who will return to the University of Michigan next season, has worn the red, white and blue four times on the international stage, most recently alongside Patrick Kane, Cam Atkinson and Johnny Gaudreau at the 2018 IIHF World Championship. Hughes, the youngest player on the team, had two assists in 10 games, and has 16 points in 29 games representing the United States. 

Hughes is a lock to make the team and will be playing in his third consecutive World Junior Hockey Championship, with a gold and bronze already under his belt. Jack Hughes, Quinn's younger brother, is also expected to make the US squad.

TONI UTUNEN 

Toni Utunen, another 2018 Canucks draftee chosen in the fifth round, 130th overall, is also familiar with donning his country's colours. The 18-year-old defenceman has represented Finland on six occasions over the last three seasons, most recently captaining his Finnish team to gold at the U18 Worlds.

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