The disastrous season for Michael Del Zotto likely has come to an end, as the 20-year-old suffered a broken finger in a Connecticut Whale AHL game Wednesday night and is expected to miss between four-to-six weeks.
Del Zotto was only recently sent down to the AHL on Saturday when Bryan McCabe was acquired -- but the season in general has been a miserable one for him. After a rookie campaign in which he played 80 games, showed promise in quarterbacking the power play and scored nine goals and recorded 28 assists, MDZ has struggled mightily this season -- most of which is shown through a lack of confidence and hesitance on the ice.
He was originally sent down the AHL on Jan. 3 to work on his defense and regain his rookie form, then was recalled (prematurely) on Jan. 31. The precocious Ranger scored twice and had nine assists this season for the big club and he had seven assists in 11 games for the Whale.
While frustrating, the season is certainly one Del Zotto can learn from and with a strong camp next season, it's very likely he sticks with the Rangers from the get go. Improve the defense, reclaim the offensive swagger and recapture that confidence and Del Zotto will be just fine.