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Friday, April 29, 2011

Charles Orzetti: A Guy You Should Know

One overager who has escaped mention on this blog space is gigantic power forward Charles Orzetti.

The New Jersey native is 6-4, 215-pounds and coming off a solid, unspectacular season of 10 goals, 22 points on a stacked Jersey Hitmen EJHL club. He was also brought to the U.S NTDP for some games in the fall as an injury replacement, an excellent experience that earned Orzetti some notice by the coaching staff and gave him a shot in the arm for his confidence.

The February, 1992-born player was seen as an intriguing prospect to watch for the 2010 NHL draft in some circles, but during Hitmen training camp, he was reaching for a puck and was shoved from behind. He fell onto his shoulder and dislocated it, but also suffered a torn labrum that required season-ending surgery. Before he'd played a single regular season contest, it was over for Orzetti.

This year, he made a full recovery (after having a top surgeon perform the surgical procedure) and impressed scouts with his aggressive, physical style and wicked shot. His acceleration and agility is sluggish, but Bruins 2011 Draft Watch spoke to Orzetti this week, and he acknowledged his shortcomings in terms of his skating. He is putting a lot of work into improving his foot speed this summer and given that he has a good stride in terms of his mechanics, he should increase his mobility with some time and effort.

Orzetti relishes putting his big body into situations where contact is warranted, and is very difficult to contain, especially when cycling the puck and working along the walls where his strength and tenacity often works in his favor.

The Yale University recruit comes from an intriguing family: his father, Ed, is a West Point graduate who flew scout helicopters for the U.S. Army before leaving for the private sector. Older brother Michael is about to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. with a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps (he's also USNA '11 class president). Younger sister Nicole is a lacrosse star at a private school in New Jersey as well.

Orzetti is largely a forgotten prospect in draft discussions because he lost an entire year in his development, but don't think for a second that NHL clubs have forgotten about him. Whether he's done enough to get a call at the 2011 draft remains to be seen, but we're guessing that his background, work ethic and the one thing he has that most don't- his size- gives enough incentive for one of the 30 teams to give him a shot.

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