2006-07: With a surprising 42 markers in 60 regular season games for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, forward Tom Sestito displayed enough talent to suggest that the Jackets investment of a third-round selection was not in vain. A teammate of fellow Blue Jacket prospect Jared Boll in a competitive Plymouth lineup, Sestito improved dramatically at the offensive end of the ice in what was essentially his third season as an amateur. Flourishing within a deep and competitive pair of forward lines with the Whalers, the 19-year-old leveraged his 6’4 frame in the offensive zone and displayed a scorer’s touch not previously manifest in his junior career. Primarily attractive in the 2006 draft as a result of his imposing size and skating ability, the offensive strides have to be a pleasant surprise for the organization.
2007-08: Sestito brought his rugged game to the AHL, where his big bodied presence was every bit as intimidating as it had been in the OHL. Sestito was a regular on the Crunch’s third line last season, on a Crunch team that performed well. Sestito proved he could play a physical game in the AHL and keep pace with the play. He contributed offensively here and there, although his offensive production will need to improve. The organization rewarded his efforts by playing him in his first NHL game.
2008-09: Sestito skated in 52 games in his second pro season with the Crunch. The bruiser scored 8 goals and 12 assists for 20 points. He ranked second on the team with 168 PIMs, despite being limited by a shoulder injury late in the season.
2009-10: After a scary head injury resulted from a preseason fight with Jordan Tootoo, Sestito jumped between Syracuse and Columbus throughout the season. He appeared in 36 AHL games, scoring 10 goals and 7 assists for 17 points along with 138 PIMs. He skated in 3 games for Columbus, earning 7 PIMs but no points.
2010-11: Sestito skated in nine games with Columbus after opening the season in the AHL with Springfield. After being returned to Springfield, he was acquired by the Flyers in exchange for forwards Greg Moore and Michael Chaput in February 2011 and spent the remainder of the season with the Flyers' AHL affiliate Adirondack. In nine games with the Blue Jackets he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -4 with 40 PMs. In 57 AHL games between Springfield and Adirondack, both non-playoff teams, Sestito was -15 with 13 goals and 22 assists while racking up 237 PMs.
The obvious question, however, is whether the marked improvement manifest on the scorer’s sheet is indicative of real development, or evidence of an older, experienced player taking advantage of the space created by a deep forward corps. While Sestito may have ended the season as the top goal scorer in the entire Columbus organization, those 42 goals barely cracked the top 20 in the wide-open OHL. Improving on that blistering goal-scoring pace in the postseason can be viewed as a leading indicator that Sestito has, like fellow power forward Matt Marquardt, begun to develop an offensive skill set to compliment his NHL-caliber size and physical presence. Consecutive seasons of over 130 penalty minutes suggests that Sestito is not shy about asserting himself physically at both ends of the rink, and continued growth into his large frame can be expected over the next several years.
Sestito was claimed off of waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers by the Vancouver Canucks in March of 2013.