Michael Del Zotto

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Michael Del Zotto
Michael Del Zotto.jpg
Born (1990-06-24) June 24, 1990 (age 23)
Stouffville, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Nashville Predators
New York Rangers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 20th overall, 2008
New York Rangers
Playing career 2009–present

Michael Del Zotto (born June 24, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman of the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Del Zotto began his hockey career with the Stouffville Clippers A of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association (WSMHA). He then played for the Richmond Hill Stars and the Markham Waxers in the OMHA's Eastern AAA League (OMHA). His Waxers minor hockey club also featured future NHL'ers Steven Stamkos, Cody Hodgson and Cameron Gaunce. The group won eight consecutive OMHA titles from 1999-2006 and the OHL Cup in Minor Midget. Del Zotto was the 2nd overall selection by the Oshawa Generals in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection. [1]

Junior[edit]

During his first season with the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Del Zotto helped his home province of Ontario win the gold medal in the 2007 Canada Winter Games.[1]

In his second season with Oshawa, Del Zotto's 63 points ranked him third among defencemen in the OHL. He made his second OHL playoff appearance when the Oshawa Generals got to the third round in the 2008 OHL playoffs. Del Zotto was chosen for the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game.[1]

On January 8, 2009, Del Zotto was part of a trade that would send him, along with teammates John Tavares and Daryl Borden, to the London Knights for prospects Christian Thomas, Scott Valentine, Michael Zador and six draft picks.[2]

Professional[edit]

Del Zotto was selected 20th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.[3] He signed a contract with the Rangers on May 26, 2009.[4]

On October 2, 2009, Del Zotto made his NHL debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At age 19, he became the youngest defenceman in Rangers history to play on an opening night. Del Zotto scored his first NHL goal the next day, against Pascal Leclaire of the Ottawa Senators, in the Rangers' home opener. Del Zotto proved he was an asset to the team and, as a result, averaged 20–25 minutes per game.

Del Zotto was awarded the NHL's Rookie of The Month for October 2009 after posting 12 points in his first 14 professional games.[5] Placing second in scoring amongst all rookie defenseman with 37 points in 80 games, Del Zotto was named to the 2010 NHL All-Rookie Team.[6]

In his second professional season in 2010–11, Del Zotto struggled to reproduce his rookie season form consistently and was re-assigned to AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League on January 4, 2011. He was later recalled by the Rangers and finished with just 11 points in 47 games during his split year. During the 2011–12 season, Del Zotto rebounded in a highly successful year for the Rangers, to complete his second full season in the NHL, recording 10 goals with 31 assists in 77 games.

As a Restricted Free Agent during the 2012 NHL lockout, he signed a temporary contract with European club Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the Swiss National League A on October 31, 2012.[7] In 9 games for the Lakers, Del Zotto produced 2 goals and 7 points before returning to North America in anticipation for the shortened 2012–13 season. Upon a resolution to the NHL lockout, Del Zotto was re-signed to a two-year contract with the Rangers on the opening day of training camp on January 13, 2013.[8]

On January 22, 2014, Del Zotto was traded by the Rangers to the Nashville Predators for Kevin Klein.[9]

Personal life[edit]

For high school, he attended St. Brother Andre Catholic High School in Markham, Ontario, then later on attended St. Andrew's College in Aurora, Ontario. Del Zotto wears number 4 in homage to Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr.[1]

His father, Steven, was a football player at York University and was drafted as a wide receiver by the Toronto Argonauts in the 8th round (66th overall) of the 1986 CFL Draft.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005–06 Markham Waxers OMHA 73 30 90 120 90
2006−07 Oshawa Generals OHL 64 10 47 57 78 9 3 9 12 14
2007−08 Oshawa Generals OHL 64 16 47 63 82 15 2 6 8 38
2008−09 Oshawa Generals OHL 34 7 26 33 48
2008−09 London Knights OHL 28 6 24 30 30 14 3 16 19 18
2009−10 New York Rangers NHL 80 9 28 37 32
2010−11 New York Rangers NHL 47 2 9 11 20
2010−11 Connecticut Whale AHL 11 0 7 7 8
2011−12 New York Rangers NHL 77 10 31 41 36 20 2 8 10 12
2012−13 Rapperswil-Jona Lakers NLA 9 2 5 7 10
2012−13 New York Rangers NHL 46 3 18 21 18 12 1 1 2 8
2013−14 New York Rangers NHL 42 2 9 11 10
2013−14 Nashville Predators NHL 25 1 4 5 8
NHL totals 317 27 99 126 124 32 3 9 12 20

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Canada WC 5 0 0 0 0
Senior int'l totals 5 0 0 0 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alexei Cherepanov
New York Rangers first round draft pick
2008
Succeeded by
Chris Kreider