Sep 16, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Brad Boyes (22) skates with the puck as Nashville Predators defenseman Anthony Bitetto (83) defends in the third period at the BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
The Nashville Predators re-signed restricted free agent defensman Anthony Bitetto to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $60,000 at the AHL level.
Bitetto tied for sixth among AHL defensemen in goals after scoring 11 during the 2013-14 campaign with the Milwaukee Admirals. He recorded 36 points and had a shooting percentage of 11.6. He will likely play the majority, if not the entire season, with the Admirals.
Originally drafted in the sixth round (No. 168) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Bitetto is coming off of one of his best seasons on ice. His performance over the upcoming campaign will likely make or break his career. Playing well will prove that he has what it takes to continue to improve his play year to year. Taking a fall will only be a detriment and only receiving a one year deal to stay in Nashville, could see the club not renew his contract again.
Bitetto has amazing potential in becoming a defenseman with a great shot. He has good size and the physicality he brings to the game can only increase his skills defensively. The only problem so far in his career is that he lacks consistency. He has yet to really show his skills on the NHL level and it would be surprising if he has much of a chance in the coming season as well.
Prior to playing in the AHL, Bitetto split his first professional season between Milwaukee and Cincinnati in the ECHL. He played all 72 games of his two years with Northeastern University where he had seven goals and 28 assists. He also helped the Indiana Ice win the 2009 Clark Cup as United States Hockey League champs.