Derek Dorsett is rapidly becoming the forgotten man of the blockbuster deal that sent Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets. It certainly doesn't help that he is currently out of the lineup and slowly recovering from a clavicle injury and that the other two guys that came over in the deal, John Moore and Derick Brassard, have been outstanding as Blueshirts. But when Rangers and Blue Jackets fans look at what Moore, Brassard, and Gaborik have done since the trade they should not forget to bring up Derek Dorsett and what he could mean to the Rangers lineup.
So what does the twenty-six year old right winger bring to the Rangers? Dorsett, at first glance, looks like he just might be the second coming of Brandon Prust (Prustbyterians rejoice!). Although I can't truthfully say that I have followed him closely I do know that he was a fan favorite in Lumbus for his work ethic, his personality, and his heart.
Dorsett, despite being just 5'11", seldom turns down a fight and will fight above his weight class should the situation call for it. Dorsett's last two full seasons saw him receiving 38 fighting majors in 153 games. He also led the Blue Jackets forwards in SH TOI/G last year and was third this year before being sidelined with his injury. The reason Rangers fans are going to fall in love with Dorsett is because of how he plays the game. He throws his body around (199 hits last year in 77 GP), he'll fight anybody, he'll play tough minutes, he doesn't take a shift off, and despite leading the league in penalty minutes last year, with 235 PIM, Dorsett is capable of drawing more penalties than he takes.
There is obviously a bit of a logjam in terms of forwards on the current team, especially in the bottom six, but I would be surprised if Dorsett doesn't become a staple in the Rangers lineup once he gets healthy. According to Andrew Gross Dorsett is finally starting to show signs of getting healthy enough to make his Rangers debut. Here is Dorsett on his injury from Gross' Ranger Rants:
"I’ll go for another X-ray I imagine sometime next week and we’ll see how it’s healing and hopefully do some contact stuff," Dorsett said. "I think as soon as the docs feel the X-rays are cleared up and look solid and I’m not going to re-hurt it, that’s what I’m waiting for, the clearance. I don’t know how (the shoulder) would handle it now. I don’t know how it will handle it in a week."
Dorsett added the doctors with the Blue Jackets initially told him he would be out 6-8 weeks and this is starting week No. 7 for him.
"I thought the best-case scenario is maybe I would play the last two games of the season - that was my prediction, not the doctors," said Dorsett, acquired from Columbus on April 3. "Obviously, things have changed."
I am hesitant to call Dorsett the second coming of Brandon Prust because we all know what Prust meant to this team during his time in New York but Dorsett certainly looks like he is cut from the same cloth as Pruster. Dorsett is certainly more affordable than Prust with a cap hit of $1,633,333 over the next two seasons, meaning that he will be a free agent in the summer of 2015. If Dorsett can play the way he did in Columbus, as an effective agitator, penalty killer, and tough guy, than I expect him to fit right into the Rangers lineup and style of play and add some fire and nasty to the club which a lot of fans think has been missing since the departure of Prust.
We all know how great John Moore and Derick Brassard have looked as Rangers thus far, I am expecting Dorsett to follow their lead and quickly become a fan favorite in New York. What Dorsett doesn't have in size he makes up for in heart, hustle, and work ethic. Just how much heart does he have?
Enough heart to fight trees on skates.
So, what do you guys think of Dorsett, let me know in the comments.
Are you excited for Dorsett to get healthy and join the Rangers lineup? Do you expect him to become a staple in the Rangers lineup? At the expense of who?
Let's go Rangers.