A key cog up front on a Medicine Hat team that featured fellow Columbus prospect Russell, Derek Dorsett is the kind of gritty forward who drives the motor of the best teams in the CHL. While 25 goals and 23 assists in 68 games during the regular season for the Tigers was not overly impressive, Dorsett kicked his game up a notch in the playoffs, recording eight goals to lead the Tigers in their 13-game trek through the post-season. The offensive touch he displayed in his sophomore season in the WHL was a plus, but a much more indicative statistic as to the type of game played by Dorsett was his league-leading 279 penalty minutes (almost double his closest teammate).
2005-06: Dorsett was chosen by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh round, 189th overall, of the 2006 NHL Draft.
2007-08: Dorsett had a successful AHL rookie season. Missed the beginning of the season with stress fractures in his right leg. Upon his return Dorsett dressed regularly and played an energy game, playing on the Crunch’s bottom two lines. Dorsett routinely played his physical brand of hockey, and was a frequent visitor to the penalty box all season, and a thorn in the side of opposing teams.
Cast in the mold of Matthew Barnaby, who made an NHL career out of a determined, aggressive, physical game built onto a similar frame (six feet and around 185 pounds), Dorsett will need to continue to add upper body strength and wear his heart on his sleeve to have a realistic shot at the NHL. Twenty years ago, a player with Dorsett’s skill set and sheer doggedness would be in line for a healthy NHL career with continued development.
Dorsett was dealt by the Columbus Blue Jackets to the New York Rangers at the 2013 NHL trade deadline in the deal that sent Marian Gaborik to the Blue Jackets.