24-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Michael Del Zotto Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
Del Zotto remains a free agent past the mid-point of July, but he's not disappointed. "It's motivating," said the defender this week at a charity golf tournament. "This summer is the hardest I’ve ever worked."
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Michael Del Zotto: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Del Zotto had a major breakout season in 2011-12 in posting career-highs of 10 goals and 31 assists to go along with a fantastic plus-20 rating. The 22-year-old blueliner also increased his average time on ice, 22:26, by a full three minutes above his previous career numbers skating alongside Anton Stralman. Del Zotto has been labeled as an inconsistent player in his three-year career, but he won't be the value this season that he was last year. His poor plus-minus rating and inconsistencies scared owners away, but those looking to get Del Zotto this season will have to be prepared to spend a higher round pick on him, especially in keeper leagues.
In a season that saw plenty of young Ranger players taking good steps forward in their deveolpment, Del Zotto was one of the few to actually regress. After an impressive 37-point rookie campaign, Del Zotto had problems with his breakout passes and getting shots to the net last year. This led to his demotion halfway through the season, and he ended the year with a broken finger and sports hernia. Fortunately, Del Zotto said and did all the right things since his demotion, so the Rangers still have high hopes for him. The 21-year-old could be a late-round sleeper pick as he has power-play quarterback written all over him, just don't expect miracles.
Del Zotto was one of the few bright spots for the Rangers last season. He led all defensemen on the team with nine goals, four power-play markers and 37 points. Not only was Del Zotto productive for the Rangers, but he also finished second among all NHL rookie defensemen in points (only Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers had more). However, one glaring error in Del Zotto’s game was his defensive awareness – he was a team-worst minus-20. If MDZ wants to take his game to the next level this season, he’ll have to improve his defense. On the plus side, the former first-round draft pick will continue to run the Rangers’ top power play unit, where he posted 22 of his 37 points. Del Zotto has a bright future ahead of him and if he continues to utilize his great on-ice vision, he could put up close to 50 points.
Del Zotto has another year of junior eligibility remaining, so the Rangers aren't likely to rush him through the system and onto their roster. He'll get a look at camp, but the best bet is to see him with the team in a year or two. There's still a lot of room for growth for the 19-year-old, but he has the skill set to be a contributor eventually. Just don't expect to see him in New York during the 2009-10 campaign.
Had 18 goals and 71 points for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. Great stats, but Del Zotto is still at least two years away from playing in the NHL. He could however be promoted to the AHL for this season.