Gardiner is a much better skater. He's a very heady player, great breakout pass, loves to join the rush, has a lot of poise with the puck on his stick and in the offensive zone. I think he has a lot of upside; reminds me of Brian Campbell.
Del Zotto lacks the poise that Gardiner has, at times. He had an up and down season, but it was revealed that he was playing with a sports hernia during the year and throughout the playoffs, which makes a lot of sense from the way he was skating/handling the puck etc. A hernia is no joke, it really is a painful injury. I feel as though he has comparable vision and has better hands, but Gardiner has a better shot. DZ's shot is really the weakpoint of his offensive game. However, I feel he is better defensively (although he's, at best, slightly above the average NHL defender) and much more physical. Perhaps him being better defensively is a result of being more experienced at the pro level. Not to say Gardiner is bad defensively...I don't think he is. I just think DZ is better at the moment.
Overall, I think it's pretty close right now. Can't really decide. I think they're both great players in their own right.
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Gardiner. He's younger and already polished very well defensively.
I honestly think Gardiner is worth more than most people claim him to be. He's good.
Gardiner is literally 10 days younger than Del Zotto.
I think it's too early to call on this one. Defensemen take a long time to settle in this league. I think both will be in this league for a long time. Tough to tell which one will be the better player over the next 10 years.