Zanetti, keeping the d-line strongFeb 02, 2011 - 07:21 EST
Now in his fourth season with the 67’s, Marc-Anthony Zanetti is nearing the peak of his OHL career.
His improved play this season shows that he’s preparing for the next step — a shot at the NHL.
Zanetti, 19, attended the Detroit Red Wings training camp last summer, and that learning experience is paying off for the 67’s.
The stats indicate his growth as a player. With 5 goals and 27 assists in 47 games, Zanetti already has more points than he did last season. He's also taking fewer penalties, with only 36 minutes served in the sin bin.
“Hopefully I’ll play one more year here and finish off my junior career before going to the NHL,” he said.
“I am a lot more open this year with the guys, trying to more of a leader compared to my first year with the organization.
“I played with most of the boys before this season and was able to get the A on my jersey, which was definitely exciting for me. Everything has been a lot better this year.
Zanetti is a much bigger threat on the ice than he admits to.
“I finish all my checks and am a good puck mover,” he said modestly when asked to rate his performance this season.
The Richmond Hill native grew up playing and training with his 16 year-old brother.
Having played his younger years with the Toronto Marlies before graduating to Markham Waxers in his Junior A year, Zanetti knows what is expected of him in the OHL and from his team.
“The season is going really good. I think we have a really good chance of winning this year. The team is really good on and off the ice and hopefully continue to gel together and put together some wins in the playoffs.”
Although this left defenseman seems to be a player whose game face is set in stone, Zanetti also has a lighter side.
“I try to be loose with the guys, joking around with them before the game and trying to keep everyone focused on the task at hand,” he said. I try to be the one that keeps them grounded and not let them too excited if we start to get down during the game.”
On game-days, Zanetti gets himself ready to play in stages.
“My routine usually consists of waking up and going to the rink for a pre-game skate. Once I’ve eaten, I have to have my pre-game nap, then go to the rink to warm-up for the game on the bike and do some stretching. Then just get focused on the game.”
Zanetti gets most of inspiration from his previous coaches as well as his parents.
“You have to always worry about yourself on the ice. There is only so much of the game that you can control but you want to make sure that you are controlling what you can and playing as hard as you can.”
The advice he feels he has taken the most out of over the years?
“Never get too high or never get too low.”