2016-17 Team: Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL) / Binghamton Senators (AHL)
Acquired: Free Agent Signing (June 2017)
Date of Birth: 8th March, 1991 (26 years old)
Place of Birth: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Ht.: 5’7” Wt.: 165 lbs
Cazzola describes himself as a playmaker, saying “I scored a lot of goals last year in Fort Wayne, but I’d say my number one attribute is definitely my hockey IQ and my playmaking abilities.”
Mentioned before, Cazzola put the puck in the net quite a bit last year tallying up 30 goals for Fort Wayne, making him a decent goal-scoring threat as well.
Those numbers were put up whilst playing with a carousel of wingers due to frequent AHL call-ups, showing his ability to adapt and gain chemistry with unfamiliar players. Such a skill bodes well for a Capitals team with big turnover and a player coming into a new environment.
Additionally, despite his size he has managed to remain fairly healthy through his career, last suffering an injury six years ago.
- Hockey IQ
- Goal-Scoring Threat
Mike Cazzola joins the team off a strong rookie season in the ECHL. Originally, the plan was for Cazzola to join the team prior to the start of last season, however due to missing the application deadline for his physiotherapy program at Queen Margaret University the deal fell through.
“Last year I was talking to Scott [Neil] and we were optimistic for me getting into the physiotherapy program last year, but I missed the cutoff date,” Cazzola said.
In light of that he decided to stay in North America picking up with the Fort Wayne Komets. He went on to say, “I knew physiotherapy was always something I wanted to do after hockey, so I said I’m just going to stay in North America for a year.”
Edinburgh was always in mind though. He said: “All through the year I stayed in contact with Edinburgh because I told them [I would come] as long as I get into school […] and then the cards just fell into place.”
On wanting to move overseas: “Scott [Neil] reached out to me after my season in Acadia and I liked the idea of going over to Europe, I always have.”
On his mentality coming in: “I just want to be a player that comes in and tries to make an impact right away. So, I’ve been talking with [D’Orazio] this year and we’re both excited to get back and get to starting things off on the right foot, especially with the Scottish Cup being introduced.”
On the duration of his contract and potentially staying longer: “Yeah, definitely if its going well, I mean there’s a definite possibility for me to stay. If I wanted to keep doing school there’s an advanced physiotherapy program I could take, but if I just wanted to focus more on hockey Edinburgh’s very flexible. They told me that if I stay for a third year I could kind of just play hockey.”
Cazzola ended by saying, “As of right now, I’m just kind of taking it one year at a time.”
Rookie of the Year in 2012/13 whilst playing for Acadia University, followed by a place on the First All-Star Team next season and a gold medal at the Universiade for Canada.
Most points by a rookie in the ECHL 2016/17, named to All-Rookie Team.
- Holds an Italian passport
- Juventus supporter
Image courtesy of the Edinburgh Capitals
Video courtesy of WANE NewsChannel 15/YouTube