Del Zotto, 28, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of a year that sees him join a third organization. In fact, the veteran puck-moving defenseman will be joining his sixth franchise since being selected 20th overall in 2008 and could suit up for the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Del Zotto has played 601 regular season games split between the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Canucks and Ducks, but has rarely been given a lengthy or large opportunity to show what he can do. Once a 40-point defenseman for the Rangers, he has been held to just seven this season through 35 contests.
In St. Louis, there may not be a much bigger opportunity. The team already has several puck-moving options and powerplay quarterbacks, meaning Del Zotto will be battling for ice time on the third pairing. That battle will be tougher when Carl Gunnarsson gets back from injury, though it’s not clear exactly when that will be.
For the Ducks this is a small win, given they only gave up Luke Schenn and a seventh-round pick for Del Zotto a month ago. Schenn was never going to make an impact for the team, so this essentially has moved them up a round for facilitating a move from Vancouver to St. Louis.