Michael Del Zotto

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Michael Del Zotto
Michael Del Zotto - Philadelphia Flyers.jpg
Born (1990-06-24) June 24, 1990 (age 25)
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
Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers
Nashville Predators
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 currently playing for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted in the first round, 20th overall, by the New York Rangers at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has previously played in the NHL for the Rangers and the Nashville Predators.

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 Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA)'s Eastern AAA League. His Waxers minor hockey club also featured future NHLers Steven Stamkos, Cody Hodgson and Cameron Gaunce. The group won eight consecutive OMHA titles from 1999 to 2006 and the OHL Cup in Minor Midget. Del Zotto was the second 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 Generals reached the third round in the 2008 OHL playoffs. Del Zotto was then chosen for the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game.[1] At the end of the season, on June 20, Del Zotto was selected in the first round, 20th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers.[2]

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 in exchange for prospects Christian Thomas, Scott Valentine, Michael Zador and six draft picks.[3]

Professional[edit]

After the 2008–09 season concluded, Del Zotto signed a professional contract with the New York Rangers on May 26, 2009.[4] On October 2, he made his NHL debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At the age of 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 at Madison Square Garden. Del Zotto proved he was an asset to the team, and, as a result, averaged 20 to 25 minutes per game throughout the 2009–10 season.

Del Zotto as a Ranger.

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

In his second professional season, 2010–11, Del Zotto struggled to reproduce his rookie season form consistently, and was subsequently assigned to the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Connecticut Whale, on January 4, 2011. However, he was later recalled by the Rangers, and finished the NHL season with 11 points in 47 games during his split year. During the 2011–12 season, Del Zotto rebounded in a highly-successful year for New York to complete his second full season in the NHL, scoring ten goals and 31 assists in 77 games.

As a restricted free agent during the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Del Zotto signed a temporary contract with Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the Swiss National League A on October 31, 2012.[7] In nine games for the Lakers, Del Zotto produced two goals and seven points before returning to North America in anticipation for the shortened 2012–13 season. Upon a resolution to the NHL lockout, Del Zotto signed a two-year contract extension 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 in exchange for defenceman Kevin Klein.[9] Del Zotto finished the season with the Predators with just one goal and five points from 25 games. With the final year of his contract completed, and despite being a restricted free agent, Del Zotto's rights were not tendered a new contract offer by Nashville, and he was subsequently released to free agency.[10]

On August 5, 2014, Del Zotto signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.[11] Following the 2014–15 NHL season Del Zotto became a restricted free agent under the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Philadelphia Flyers made him a qualifying offer to retain his NHL rights and, on July 5, 2015, Del Zotto filed for Salary Arbitration.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Del Zotto attended St. Brother André Catholic High School in Markham, Ontario, then later on attended St. Andrew's College in nearby Aurora. He wore number 4 in junior and in the NHL with the Rangers in homage to Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr.[1]

Del Zotto's father, Steven Del Zotto, was a football player at York University and was drafted as a wide receiver by the Toronto Argonauts in the eighth round, 66th overall, of the 1986 CFL Draft.

Del Zotto has done charitable work, including Madison Square Garden's "Garden of Dreams" foundation, in which a segment of his work was featured in Lisa Varga's Beyond the Offseason.[13]

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
2014−15 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 64 10 22 32 34
NHL totals 381 37 121 158 158 32 3 9 12 20

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Canada WC 7th 5 0 0 0 0
Senior 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