Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The NYR Facts Of Life: #4 Michael Del Zotto

This is the first installment of The Facts Of Life: New York Rangers. It will be a daily feature here where we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have for each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season.

After much debate, it's been decided to go in number order so without further delay, let's look at #4, defenseman Michael Del Zotto.

#4's #s: 80 games, 9 goals (4ppg), 28 assists, -20, 32 PIM.

Take the good: MDZ broke onto the scene on fire with 12 points in his first 12 games. He showed off the skills that had drawn the comparisons to that Leetch guy and eventually averaged close to 19 minutes on the ice a night. He saw ice time in all situations and got physically tougher over the course of his 80 games (he missed two after being gutted by Geno Malkin's skate).

Take the bad: MDZ often put himself out of position trying to make hits and was pretty bad in his own zone. His ability in front of Hank did not improve at all over the course of the year and he ended up a team-worse -20. The kid was scoreless in 49 games, including slumps of seven and nine games as well as the final four. In the all-important final game against the Flyers, he played just 14:14 as Torts didn't trust him to be able to safely handle the Broad Street Bullies.

Take them both and then we have: A 19 year old who gained a lot of good experience. That simple. Would a midwinter trip to Hartford have been beneficial in the long term? Perhaps, but what's done is done, MDZ is a NHLer now and hopefully will be one for a long time. Something to keep in mind: Drew Doughty had 27 points in 81 games and was -17 last season, his rookie year.


Duniyadnd said...

Sweet, I like this system. You pretty much hit what I was thinking of Del Zotto, lots of potential, but plenty of rookie mistakes which is really acceptable considering the number of minutes he's had this season alone.

Harwood said...

Due to his age and the fact he was drafted out of the CHL, Del Zotto was not eligible to go to Hartford. So even if he would have benefited from some time in the AHL the rules prevented it.

Rich said...

I still love this kid. Needs to lift weights all summer and gain about 15 lbs.

Scotty, maybe include each player's season stats with each installment?

Scotty Hockey said...

Harwood - you are absolutely right, I remember Jess from Prospect Park advocating MDZ return to junior for a season under Dale Hunter, as he couldnt go to the Pack. My bad on it.

Rich good call. If I get a second I will add it to this and use it goin' forward.