It’s early, but Barry Trotz is happy with the returns from the Kevin Klein-Michael Del Zotto trade.
“I liked a lot of things he did,” Trotz said of Del Zotto’s debut, a 2-1 win in Vancouver, per The Tennessean. “He had good compete for me, his puck management was really good. Especially since he hadn’t played with us. I was really happy with his effort.”
Del Zotto, acquired from New York on Wednesday, played just over 13 minutes on Thursday and finished with two blocked shots, a hit and a shot on goal. Paired with rookie Seth Jones, Del Zotto played mostly mistake-free hockey throughout the night but, interestingly enough, didn’t get a single second of power-play time.
Last year, Del Zotto led all Rangers defensemen in power play TOI per game (2:54) and has carved a niche for himself as an puck-moving offensive defenseman that thrives with the man advantage. Considering Nashville’s lack of offense and need for creativity, it’s a little surprising Del Zotto was left off the PP unit entirely — though Trotz did say he expected those opportunities to come as the new defensemen gets more comfortable with his surroundings.
As for Del Zotto himself? He was just glad to get a win.
“Getting a win in the first game with a new team feels great,” Del Zotto said. “They put me in positions I could play, and I felt great.”