Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff posted a profile of Red Wings 2021 draft pick Pasquale Zito, who the Wings chose to acquire with the 166th overall pick despite the fact that Zito didn’t play during the 2020-2021 season due to the Ontario Hockey League halting operations during the coronavirus pandemic:
“He’s an energetic right-shot that plays with pace, quick feet and a tenacious forechecker,” assessed Dan Stewart of Draft Prospects Hockey. “He has solid playmaking ability but is not overly creative, transitions the puck quickly, plays with some bite, is willing to drop the mitts, and battles hard for positioning and pucks.”
The 6-foot, 175-pound Zito projects out to be a bottom-six type forward, one capable of chipping in the odd goal, being a physical presence and someone who is difficult to play against.
Currently, those types of forwards are in short supply in Detroit. There’s Tyler Bertuzzi, Adam Erne and if he makes the team, Givani Smith.
Zito, who lists Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk as the type of player he’d one day like to be, fits into this mold. “He wants to be a hard player to play against,” Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper said of Zito. “He wants to compete against the other team’s top players, he wants to make a tough net-front presence. Those are the things you like.
“When you interview a player and they start talking about ‘My favorite players are the Tkachuks’ it kind of puts a smile on your face. I let him know that’s not easy to do what they do every night and he just kind of smiled.”