2021 Player Review: Michael Del Zotto was a positive add to the roster
The journeyman defenseman may have found a long(er)-term home
Michael Del Zotto was signed to a professional tryout contract prior to the 2021 season and was quickly signed to a one year contract before the season started. The veteran defenseman had played for six different teams prior to the donning the Union Blue. He’s known as being an offensive defenseman and wasted no time proving that out. At one point, early in the season, Del Zotto briefly led the team in points.
Most would say that Del Zotto was a pleasant surprise for 2021. With the losses of Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivarra, the Blue Jackets needed some depth on the blue line. Del Zotto provided some offense and was not terrible defensively. At 5v5, he led all defensemen in GF% and ranked fourth in CF% and xGF%. He was an effective puck mover and was overall a net positive for the Blue Jackets this season.
Michael Del Zotto 2021 Stats
Games Played: 53
5v5 CF%: 47.7
5v5 FF%: 47.49
Del Zotto will be an unrestricted free agent on July 28th. The Blue Jackets have expressed interest in re-signing Del Zotto, and the player seems to have interest in the same, but there will likely be no movement until after the expansion draft. If he is re-signed, expect the cap hit to be more than the $700,000 he was paid last season.
On February 11th, Del Zotto scored the game tying goal against the Blackhawks with only 2:41 left in the game. He had one goal and one assist.
Video courtesy of SpecmenceCBJ
From 2/13 to 3/28, Del Zotto recorded 1 goal and 0 assists in 20 games. The entire team struggled during this period, but more is expected out of an offensive defenseman.
How would you grade Michael Del Zotto’s season?