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A Closer Look: Tom Sestito

Player: Tom Sestito

Birthplace: Rome, New York

Birthdate: September 28, 1987 (age 20)

Height/Weight: 6'4'' / 210 lbs.

Position: LW

Number: 43 (CBJ) / 18 (SYR)

2007-08 Season Stats:

Syracuse: 66 GP / 7 G / 16 A / 23 PTS / 202 PIM
Columbus: 1 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 PTS / 17 PIM

Where he fits in the line-up: Expect him to get another year in Syracuse, but after that, all bets are off.

Why you need to watch out for Sestito: Remember when Jared Boll burst onto the scene last year and took everyone by surprise? Well, Tommy Sestito is on the same program this Summer, and when he gets into camp, he has nothing to lose.

Mike: Sestito is a versatile winger, a player who exhibits all of the intangibles, especially for a team coached by Ken Hitchcock. Sestito has size, 6'4" 210lbs, plays a tough, physical game, completing checks and being a very willing combatant when the gloves drop. He is also at home in front of the net on the powerplay, taking abuse while looking for rebounds or tip-ins. Sestito was drafted in the 2006 draft for these intangibles and exhibited them all last season in his first year of pro hockey with Syracuse. He was called up for one game at the end of the season and racked up 17 PIMS. In terms of an outlook on his career, he likely projects as a fourth line player, not as a goon, but a physical energy winger who will drop the mitts to protect his teammates and to ignite a fire when needed. He would also be valuable on a special teams unit. He and former Plymouth Whaler teammate Jared Boll could anchor the wings on the fourth line for years to come.

Andy: Sestito will soon be a fan favorite, much in the same way that Jared Boll has become. He's not going to dazzle you with his offense, but what he lacks in dangling skills, he more than makes up for in size, toughness, and hard work. Watching Tommy take the ice in prospects camp, one thing struck me: he looks like an ogre on the ice, but moves very well and has decent skill all-around. He actually wasn't on the roster for prospect camp, but took the ice so the youngsters had an extra guy to practice with, and that alone should say something about Sestito. I look for him to make a big impact when he finally cracks the Blue Jackets roster, he is a perfect role player for the type of club Howson has built.

Mike's stats prediction:

Syracuse:Â 60 GP / 12 G / 19 A / 31 PTS / 234 PIM

Columbus:Â 10 GP / 1 G / 2 A / 3 PTS / 42 PIM

Andy's stats prediction:

Syracuse:Â 59 GP / 11 G / 18 A / 29 PTS / 207 PIM

Columbus:Â 8 GP / 1 G / 1 A / 2 PTS / 22 PIM

The Cannon's stats prediction:

Syracuse:Â 60 GP / 12 / 19 A / 31 PTS / 221 PIM

Columbus:Â 9 GP / 1 G / 2 A / 3 PTS / 32 PIM

Snippets from the Plymouth Whalers interview with Tom Sestito:

On how he started playing hockey╜
╲I was like 4 and my grandfather got me into the sport because he played. My dad didnâ•˙t really play too much and I didnâ•˙t live with my dad, so my grandfather got me going.╡

On his most embarrassing hockey moment╜
╲Probably my first fight against (Chris) Bain (Oct. 10, 2004). It was short. It was just one punch and I fell and then he hit me again. Hard.╡