Games Played: 60
Mike Santorelli was drafted in the 2004 NHL draft at 18th overall by the Nashville Predators. He debuted in his first NHL game in 2009 with the Predators. On August 5th 2010, Santorelli was traded to the Florida Panthers for a 5th round pick in the 2011 Draft. His first full season with the Florida Panthers saw him score 20 goals while accumulating 41 points playing mostly on the second line. With the start of this past season, everyone expected more from the young forward. Things didn’t work out very well.
Santorelli didn’t play in the first 7 games of this season due to a shoulder injury. However, after those 7 games he appeared in 60 regular season games, but made no appearance in the playoffs. There is nothing too specific about Santorelli’s style of play that makes you drop your jaw. He battles hard and can score when he gets a good opportunity. he just has to work hard, and so do his linemates. Towards the end of the season, he was scratched nearly every game due to having all healthy forwards that were playing better than he was.
During the season, he scored a few critical goals that tied up games for the Panthers giving us hope that he might find his touch again. Again, he appears to work hard and has the ability to score goals, but if he’s on the fourth line like he was for most of the season, it’s probably a waste. While he didn’t earn the opportunity to play top six minutes, he had chances to make a difference for the Panthers elsewhere. He’s still learning the game, and learning how to give 100% effort each night, but the question remains, “have we seen the best of Mike Santorelli”?
Final Grade: C. It saddens me to give him a C but we never really got to see him perform towards the end of the season because he was a healthy scratch. However when he does play, he plays well. He isn’t a star player but can definitely help out the team.
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