Let’s continue our reviews of the 2009-2010 New York Rangers with defenseman Michael Del Zotto.
Michael Del Zotto:
What we liked: There was a ton we liked about Del Zotto this year. For starters he stepped into a major role—quarterbacking the power play—with relative success. His 9 goals and 28 assists for 37 points were awesome to see. And as the season progressed he began to lay the lumber, in fact he was the hardest hitter on the Rangers blue line all season. And while his defense wasn’t perfect, he stepped into the defensive role brilliantly for the Rangers.
What we didn’t like: As I said before from time to time his defense was suspect. We expected Del Zotto—at 19 years of age—to make "rookie mistakes," and he did. But keep in mind that he is only 19 years old, and he also played with Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival for most of the year. His -20 was slightly alarming, but I still think that it wasn’t completely indicative of how well I think he played this year. In the end, we expected this field to look like this.
Final thoughts: I have said time and time again that if Del Zotto was a UFA this season he would command 4 million plus, at least. Some may point at his -20 as something that would turn teams off, but Sheldon Souray had a -28 (granted he had 26 goals) and he is making 7 million. Regardless Del Zotto was a steal at 20th in the draft, and will be a difference maker for years to come. He is about as special as they come.