Less than twelve hours after capping off his year with a season high-tying
three assist effort, defenceman Darren Dietz inked a three year, entry level
deal with the Habs on Sunday morning. The contract does not come into
effect until the 2013-14 campaign. Financial terms of the contract were
2012-13 was a phenomenal year for the Blades’ blueliner. Not only does
he sit third among WHL defencemen in points, he also leads the league in goals
by a blueliner. (As there are a couple of games still to be played,
these placements aren’t locked in quite yet.) Not surprisingly, Dietz
set career highs all across the board (24 goals, 34 assists, and 58 points).
It’s usually not worth getting into the +/- discussion too much but it’s worth
noting that at the end of January, he had a -19 rating on the season.
However, he was a +28 in the final 23 games of the season to not only boost his
season rating into the positives, but also trump his rating from 2011-12 (+7).
Dietz is also the only WHL defenceman to put up at least 35 points and 100 PIMS.
The Habs drafted Dietz in the 5th round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 138th
overall. Interestingly enough, the lone player selected that year outside
of the top two rounds to have already played in the NHL went immediately after
that selection, Chicago’s Andrew Shaw at pick 139. Montreal has had recent
success with players taken in that round; the previous two fifth round
selections are both presently with the Canadiens, Gabriel Dumont and Brendan
His club team in Saskatoon will likely have a long playoff run. The
Blades will head into the WHL playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern
Conference after a phenomenal second half to the season. Even if they were
to be upset, they still will be playing in May as Saskatoon is hosting the 2013
Dietz was the biggest riser in our prospect rankings this past September.
After being drafted, he debuted at #29 but jumped all the way to #14 after his
strong performance in 2011-12.