Edmonton Oilers Year in Review: Zack Stortini
After seeing a career high in games played and points in 2009, Stortini saw his total amount of games cut more than in half, falling from 77 to 32. Although his role is strictly a bottom-six, energy providing forward, Stortini failed to tally a goal for the first time in his career. What was even more concerning was that Stortini is supposed to be an enforcer, yet he registered the lowest amount of penalty minutes of his career with 76. Overall, he often looked out of place, and didn’t perform his job all that well. There have been some rumors that Stortini will be dealt during the draft, and I would expect the Oilers to take whatever they can get for the upcoming restricted free agent.
- Eric Yeomans
32, the number of games Zack Stortini played last season in the NHL. 0, the number of goals Stortini scored. 4, the number of assists Stortini managed in his limited action, but these low numbers are not the reason Stortini was demoted to the AHL and subsequently earned the lowest grade possible. Stortini’s low grade comes from his inability to be an effective enforcer at the NHL level; with an avergae of 1.44 hits per game Stortini was not able to become a difference maker through his physical play which his 6’4, 215 lb. frame should be able to deliver on a nightly basis. Entering the season, Stortini was expected to be a bodyguard for the younger and skilled players in the lineup, something he was also unable to do. Stortini managed 8 fights in the NHL during his tenure (down from a career high of 25 in 2008/09) but other teams did not appear to be intimidated by his presence, as they consistently took advantage of our top-six. What is most disheartening is that in 29 games in the AHL, Stortini only dropped the gloves a total of 4 times, appearing unwilling to earn his spot in the NHL back. Perhaps playing in the minors on a one-way contract leaves little room for motivation.
- Curtis Magrath
Final Grade: F
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