Michael Del Zotto will be eating Philly cheesesteaks into his late 20s.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Thursday that they have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with defenseman Michael Del Zotto. The deal carries an AAV of $3.875 million, with $3.75 million in actual money in the first season and $4 million in the second, according to War on Ice.
The contract buys into one year of Del Zotto’s UFA status, as the restricted free agent was in the last season of RFA eligibility.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 16, 2015
Last season he played the full year with the Flyers, scoring 10 goals and 22 assists through 64 games. He has bounced around a bit the last couple of years, spending time with the New York Rangers and Nashville Predators as well. Finding a team that would be patient with development — used loosely, he is 25 now — while also giving him the kind of minutes an offensive-minded defenseman tends to need to play their game was crucial to him starting to look like the player with tons of potential we saw in his first couple of seasons.
Del Zotto has played in the NHL since he was 19, logging 381 games and hitting a career-high 41 points in the 2011-12 season for the New York Rangers when he scored 10 goals and 31 assists. Last season was the most points he’s had since that season with the Blueshirts.
Despite not having as big of a raw point total as he did in the 2011-12 season, his 5-on-5 P/60 of 1.2 was the best of his career.
Del Zotto remains a player who is considered to be growing and have upside. As you can see from his HERO chart below, it’s clear where he thrives and it’s clear what aspects of the game he probably needs to work on. His CA60 of 56.17 was the worst among Flyers defensemen last season. Though, he did have the second most indiviudal scoring chances at 50 and had the third best on-ice even strength scoring chance rate among team defensemen. at 25.31 SCF60.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.