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Michael Del Zotto

Michael Del Zotto was taken 20th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2008 draft. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Michael Del Zotto was taken 20th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2008 draft. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: New York Rangers defenseman.

Ht: 6-foot Wt: 193 pounds

DOB: June 24, 1990 In: Stouffville, Ont.

First Hockey Memory: "Skating in the backyard rink. They made a rink - my dad and my grandpa used to make it - and we'd be out there every day. Had my parents yell at me from inside, trying to get me to go inside to do homework and I wouldn't get off there."

Nicknames:
"DZ, Delly, Del-Rock. The one that sticks here has been Del-Z, it's probably my least favorite one (Del-Z?) Yeah, it's a terrible one, I can't stand it, but the guys have been pickin' on me about that one. But I've had a bunch of nicknames."

Hockey Inspirations: "My dad grew up playing. My brother played. And I kinda just followed in their footsteps pretty much. They never played pro or anything. But being from Toronto, you basically had to love hockey, it's the only way to go there. I grew up loving it and still do to this day."

Last Book Read: "It's not good when you gotta think about it. Theo Fleury's book, I forgot the name of it."

Favorite Movies: "Pretty much anything with Will Ferrell in it. Anchor Man, Old School."

First Car: "'99 red Grand Prix."

Current Car: "X5 Audi (black)."

Greatest Sports Moment: "Scoring my first goal in my first game at Madison Square Garden and the crowd chanting my name."

Most Painful Moment:
"MSG, can't remember what game it was, I went to hit someone, clipped their leg, went face first into the boards. Broke my nose. Or in Pittsburgh, getting cut open by a skate. One of the two."

Favorite Uniforms: "I like the old school New York Statue of Liberty ones. We haven't worn those since I guess a couple of years ago, but those are my favorite ones."

Favorite Arena:
"Toronto - just because it's home."

Closest Hockey Friends: "Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Steve Eminger, probably those three."

Funniest Player Encountered:
"Sean Avery. (Why, what's it about him?) Just some of the things he says, which I'll keep to myself (smiles)."

Toughest Competitors Encountered:
"Two of them I can name - I remember my first year, Bill Guerin. Just because he was a veteran guy, he got away with a lot of stuff in front of the net. I remember him beating me with like nine or 10 crosschecks and - couldn't do anything. I gave him one back and got called for a penalty. So it wasn't too fun."

Most Memorable Goal: "The first one."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Soccer."

Funny Hockey Memory: "After my first year, going back home, I ran a hockey school and I remember showing one of the kids how to backwards skate and I heel pecked and fell right on my ass. All the kids were laughing at me."

Last Vacation:
"Las Vegas - for my 21st birthday."

Strangest Game: "My first year against Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. I was matched up against Crosby that night. Didn't play too bad of a game, but I ended up being minus-5 at the end of the night. And really only one goal was my fault. Not too happy to walk away minus-5 for one game. Tough to get back in the plus column after that."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "Sense of humor, trustworthy and caring."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski's second book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" is available on www.amazon.com. Malinowski is the creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com and www.tennis-prose.com

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