Casey Pierro-Zabotel
Casey Pierro-Zabotel.jpg
Pierro-Zabotel with the Vancouver Giants during the 2009 WHL playoffs.
Position Centre
Shoots Left
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
210 lb (95 kg)
NHL Team (P)
Cur. Team
F. Teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Bakersfield Condors (ECHL)
Wheeling Nailers
Born (1988-11-08)November 8, 1988,
Ashcroft, BC, CAN
NHL Draft 80th overall, 2007
Pittsburgh Penguins
Pro Career 2009 – present

Casey Pierro-Zabotel (born November 8, 1988) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who is currently playing for the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 80th overall, out of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Playing major junior with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL), he set franchise single-season records in 2008–09 with 79 assists and 115 points, en route to a Bob Clarke Trophy as the league's leading scorer.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Undrafted by a WHL team,[1] Pierro-Zabotel began his junior hockey career with the Merritt Centennials of the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) in 2004–05. He produced at a near point-per-game pace in his second season with the Centennials before dominating the league in 2006–07, his draft year, with 51 goals, 65 assists and 116 points in 55 games. Going into the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Pierro-Zabotel was ranked 75th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting,[2] up from 87th in their mid-term rankings.[3] He would be taken in the third round, 80th overall, by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pierro-Zabotel and Giants teammate Brent Regner in 2008.

Set to make the jump from Junior A to college hockey for Michigan Tech in 2007–08, he was deemed ineligible to play for the first semester by the NCAA for academic reasons.[4][5] As a result, Pierro-Zabotel instead signed with the Memorial Cup defending champions, Vancouver Giants of the WHL, in November 2007.[6] He scored his first WHL goal on November 24 against the Medicine Hat Tigers and tallied 48 points in 49 games for the Giants in his major junior rookie season.

Pierro-Zabotel (right) and Giants linemate Evander Kane in 2008.

Beginning the 2008–09 season on the top line with Evander Kane, Pierro-Zabotel was named WHL Player of the Week on October 5 after recording 7 points in 2 games. Just 44 games into the season, he set a Giants single-season record with his 54th assist as part of a 5-point game on January 17, 2009, in a 9–3 win against the Red Deer Rebels. The team mark was previously set by Darren Lynch, who recorded 53 assists in 70 games in 2002–03. A little over a week later, on January 25, Pierro-Zabotel tied the Giants' franchise mark for single-season points set by Gilbert Brule in 2004–05 with his 87th point of the season. He broke the record the next game against the Medicine Hat Tigers, on January 28, with an assist in a 4–3 win.[7] His record-setting January was capped off with a WHL Player of the Month recognition after tallying 28 points in 15 games. Pierro-Zabotel completed his second WHL season with a league-high 115 points (36 goals and 79 assists) to become the first Giants recipient of the Bob Clarke Trophy. He was also named co-team MVP with captain Jonathon Blum[8] and was unanimously selected to the WHL West First All-Star Team. After eliminating the Spokane Chiefs in the second round of the playoffs, Pierro-Zabotel was named the Western Conference's nominee for the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as top WHL player. The award was given to Eastern Conference finalist Brett Sonne of the Calgary Hitmen.[1] In game two of the semifinals, he scored the game winning overtime goal to defeat the Kelowna Rockets 4–3 and tie the series 1–1. The Giants were, however, eliminated in six games. Pierro-Zabotel completed the post-season with 17 points in 17 games.

A week after Pierro-Zabotel's final WHL season ended, the Penguins signed him to a three-year, entry level contract on May 4, 2009. He was subsequently assigned to the American Hockey League (AHL) to join the Pittsburgh's minor league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for their 2009 playoff run. [9] He did not, however, appear in any games.

Pierro-Zabotel began the season on the Penguins' ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, but was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 21, 2010. At the time of his re-assignment, he was second in team scoring with 33 points in 38 games.[10].

In February 2011, Pierro-Zabotel's wife Levi criticized the Penguins organization on Twitter, unhappy that her husband was not giving more opportunities to play at the AHL level. Shortly afterwards Pierro-Zabotel was recalled to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins on February 10, 2011. Several hours later, it was announced that he was loaned to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, who are not affiliated with the Penguins.[11][12]

International play[edit | edit source]

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of Canada.png Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior A Challenge
Gold 2007 Trail
Gold 2006 Yorkton

Following his second season in the BCHL, Pierro-Zabotel competed for Canada West at the inaugural 2006 World Junior A Challenge in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Playing Canada East in the final, Pierro-Zabotel scored the game winning goal on the powerplay to win the gold medal by a 4–3 score.[13][14] He finished with 9 points in 4 games, second in tournament scoring behind teammate and tournament MVP Kyle Turris.[15]

The next year, Pierro-Zabotel was named team captain for Canada West[16] for the 2007 World Junior A Challenge in Trail, British Columbia. He led his team past Belarus in a 7–4 quarter-final win with a natural hat trick in the third period, scored in just 4 minutes,[16] en route to a second straight gold medal win against Canada East in the final. He finished with 7 points in 5 games, tied for second in team scoring behind tournament MVP Mike Connolly.[17]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Pierro-Zabotel married his long-time girlfriend, Levi, daughter of Kamloops Indian Band chief Shane Gottfriedson,[18] in December 2008 in his hometown Kamloops.

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Merritt Centennials BCHL 58 6 6 12 19
2005–06 Merritt Centennials BCHL 60 25 30 55 29
2006–07 Merritt Centennials BCHL 55 51 65 116 42
2007–08 Vancouver Giants WHL 49 19 29 48 8 10 2 4 6 4
2008–09 Vancouver Giants WHL 72 36 79 115 52 17 4 13 17 16
2009–10 Wheeling Nailers ECHL 49 12 29 41 26
2009–10 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 9 0 1 1 0
2010–11 Wheeling Nailers ECHL 42 14 20 34 42
2010–11 Cincinnati Cyclones ECHL 25 4 16 20 8 4 0 0 0 0
BCHL totals 173 77 106 183 90
WHL totals 121 55 108 163 60 27 8 15 23 20

International[edit | edit source]

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
2006 Canada West WJAC 4 3 6 9 4
2007 Canada West WJAC 5 3 4 7 2
Junior int'l totals 9 6 10 16 6

Awards[edit | edit source]

Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Giant Pierro-Zabotel named WHL West finalist for top player award. Vancouver Sun (2009-04-17). Retrieved on 2009-04-19.
  2. 2007 CSB Final Rankings. TSN (2007-04-25). Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  3. 2007 CSB Mid-Term Rankings. TSN (2007-10-10). Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  4. This week in the WCHA: Nov. 15, 2007. USCHO (2007-11-15). Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  5. Bringing back the bark (2007-10-04). Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  6. Tips duo may play for Team Canada. (2007-12-04). Retrieved on 2008-12-10.
  7. WHL:Vancouver Giants defeat Medicine Hat in come-from-behind win. Vancouver Sun (2009-01-28). Retrieved on 2009-01-29.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Giants Pound Cougars 6-0. OurSports Central (2009-03-15). Retrieved on 2009-03-15.
  9. Giants Pierro-Zabotel signs with Penguins. OurSports Central (2009-05-05). Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  10. Casey Pierro-Zabotel Recalled To Baby Penguins. OurSports Central (2010-01-21). Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  11. Nailers Acquire a Pair of Forwards, February 10, 2011
  13. Game Summary 1076. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  14. Canada East 3 - Canada West 4. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  15. Top Scorers - 2006 All Players. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Captain leads Canada West through to semi-final. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  17. 2007 World Junior A Challenge - Statistics. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  18. Penguins draft pick enjoying banner season in WHL. Sporting News (2009-02-02). Retrieved on 2009-02-07.

External links[edit | edit source]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mark Santorelli
Bob Clarke Trophy
Succeeded by
Brandon Kozun

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