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Interview with Ottawa's 14th Rnd Selection, Christian Zanetti

The Ottawa 67's are of course a storied franchise. They have won league Championships and National titles and one man is synonymous with the Franchise, Brian Kilrea. The 67's are going to be heading into a transition phase this season. They will still be on the up and up. but there will be a power outage as the OA Graduates, the loss of Ryan Martindale and possibly Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince could hurt this franchise this season. A player completely overlooked by most teams may have always known he would be selected by the 67's and I am sure his bloodline to the franchise helped a bit. Don't let the fact that he is the younger brother of a current player fool you. The kid does have skills and and has the makings of a tough OHL blueliner, even if he doesn't break the 6 foot plateau. The Ottawa 67's selected Christian Zanetti, younger brother of Marc Anthony Zanetti, in the 14th round and could be a solid selection come this time next season.  Of course , ITO’s OHL Aficionado Thayne Hallyburton, @thallyburton, and myself first spotted Christian on the Mississauga Senators because the name 'Zanetti' is easy to spot and is very obvious to connect the dots. We watched intently as he was able to score a goal and add a couple helpers in the tournament. We also noticed the mean streak in young Christian. Possibly because his older brother bullied and toughened him up, or maybe because it worked for his brother so it could work for him. Christian did get into some penalty trouble during the tournament but he was with out a doubt, a spark plug when the team needed one. Of course if you want the quick report on him I had to go to Thayne. 3 words to describe Chrisitan and Thayne responded with, 'Smart, Tough & Undersized.' Undersized would be an ‘understatment’ (play on words) but if he has the dedication to getting bigger and stronger like his older brother, he won't be undersized for long. If you need a comparison Thayne suggest you look at Spencer Abraham of the Brampton Battalion. Christian was gracious enough with his time to answer some of my questions and let me pick his brain. Here is what the 14th round selection of the Ottawa 67's had to say:

Christian thank you for taking time to do this, really appreciate
it. The Missisauga Senators, a great program and a decent showing at
the OHL Showcase Cup this past March, and from that comes you being
drafted 14th round by the Ottawa 67's. Who told you the news? 67's
Staff or did your brother relay the message to you?
I was watching the first part of the draft with my dad and at around the 12th round we had to head out to watch my sisters dance competition. About 20 minutes later my goalie Quentin Abrams said congratulations and that’s how I found out.

I remember watching you at the Showcase Cup, partly because the last name Zanetti and needing your brother to confirm that you were related, and the other part being that you play a bigger game then your smaller frame suggests. Where did you get the mean streak/toughness from?
Although I am only 5’09” I do tend to play a little tougher than usual because after watching my brother play in the OHL for the past 3 years being physical was a huge part in his game and I love getting in there to create problems for the other team.

Mississauga Senators were drafted into the OHL and you were
almost the last one chosen from that team, when was the last time you
were selected last? but seriously, surprised at all that you were
late, or were you more surprised you were even drafted?
Hahaha do not remember the last time I was selected last but I was just happy to get picked. Obviously I was hoping to go a little earlier but to go to the same team as my brother did is a great honour.

Now your brother obviously has some type of influence on you as
like it or not, you are following in his footsteps in terms of playing
in the OHL to obviously continue playing at the next level. What are
some of the positives and negatives you have learned from Marc Anthony on and off the ice?
I have learned from Marc-Anthony that it is best to keep your game simple and continue to push myself on and off the ice. He also always tells me to have positive thinking and know that you will eventually achieve your dream.

67's rookie camp has already taken place and i am sure there was
some good advice given to you when it was all said and done. what was
the message from the 67's when camp was complete and what things are
you doing this summer to help yourself when the puck drops in the
2011/12 season?
Unfortunately I got injured a week before the rookie camp started so I was unable to play but they did say to stay healthy and to work hard throughout the summer so I am ready to play at that level.

Being a 14th round selection in the OHL draft, doesn't really work in your favour when discussing about jumping right to the OHL. Heck, even 3rd round selections dont necessarily suit up for their OHL club in first year of eligibility. I imagine you are in the boat of, another year another chance. so where can the people find you this fall if you are not playing with the 67's and what are your feelings on waiting and toughing it out another year?
I know it is definitely tough to make the 67’s as a 14th round pick but definitely not impossible. Defenceman Julien Demers did it as a 15th round pick for the 67’s as well. If I do not make it this year I will most likely sign with a AAA midget team and work hard to try and make it for the upcoming years.

Going back to your brother for a second, Marc Anthony was never drafted into the NHL, but he found himself in Vancouver Canucks
development camp this past week because of such things as hard work
and dedication. Is it an easier pill to swallow when it comes to the
waiting game when you have someone that close to you going through that sort of thing?
It is a huge help having my brother already gone through all of this. Not getting drafted into the NHL was tough for him to deal with but after seeing him persevere and make it to a few different NHL camps helps me realize that although it might take time it will work out in the end.

Just 2 more for you, I cant believe I went the whole interview,
mentioning the OHL Showcase Cup, watching you play with your mean
streak, and not mentioning my boy Thayne Hallyburton (@thallyburton).
he was present in the arena for every game with me, giving me the
coles notes on the players to watch for, yourself included. I can give
you his version of the scouting report on you, but please do him one
better and tell us how you see yourself on the ice?
I see myself as a physical puck moving defenceman that makes a great first pass and loves to jump into the rush to create odd man opportunities.

Finally Christian, your brother is known for a lot of things on the
ice and off the ice, one of those things being an avid tweeter
(@mzanetti10) he is constantly upgrading mine and others 'hockey
vocab' (Wheeler, Duster, Flow, Gino) the list really goes on and on,
and also his JS tweets. When your bro graduates as an OA can we expect
you to pick up the Zanetti Tweeting slack? and what differences or new
style of tweets will you bring to the table?
Hahaha you can definitely count on me to pick up the slack for his twitter. I just started using twitter recently about 6 months ago and I love it. My style of tweets will probably similar to his but I will try to have bring out some more and better hashtags then he does.

Thank you again to Christian Zanetti (@Zanetti73) for talking the time to answer my tough, intellectual questions. He may not be much with words, but he is definitely something else to watch on the ice. If he isn't in an Ottawa 67's jersey in September, do not forget his name. He will make it to the Show that is the OHL and you can all say 'I follow him on Twitter'. Don’t forget to follow Christian on Twitter and his older brother Marc Anthony Zanetti (@mazanetti10). Here is hoping they can start a hashtag war. Don't forget, stay tuned to for more interviews coming up as well as staying up to date with all the news around the OHL found on the website, and through the twitter feed. (

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