So. | D | Waterford, Mich.
Zarb, who posted a minus-9 plus/minus rating last
season, added 15 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame
during the offseason.
Key Statistics: Zarb
had no goals and 10 assists in 29 games during his rookie
campaign. More disappointing than his failure to find
the net, he said, was his minus-9 plus/minus rating,
which was third-worst on the team. He took only 31 shots
on goal, third-fewest among Bulldogs with at least 25
What He Does: It’s
an interesting situation. Zarb is an offensive defenseman
who doesn’t try to score very much. The Flyers
draft pick was a forward until being switched to defense
in the USHL. He’s still learning the nuances of
manning the blue line, especially one-on-one coverage.
The FSU coaching staff wants him to fire the puck much
more often than he does, particularly because he is
slated to play the point on the power play. He was up
there at times last year, too, but was always trying
to make the perfect pass instead of letting ’er
The Bigger Picture:
Though blessed with greater skill than a good deal of
his teammates, Zarb was a healthy scratch for a handful
of games near the end of last season because he was
getting physically manhandled. He had shoulder surgery
during his last year of juniors, which prevented him
from doing enough upper-body work in the weight room
and rendered him ineffective in the corners and in front
of the net as a freshman. He hopes the 15 pounds he’s
added this off-season (up to 215) will solve the strength
issue without affecting his skating. If so, he’ll
probably see time on Ferris’ penalty kill and
in late-game scenarios, two situations he usually watched
from the bench (or the stands) last year.
Zarb, on being a healthy scratch:
"It was hard to swallow, but I understood.
I was getting beaten in the corners, and I was a minus-(nine).
You can’t put me out there. I accepted it. They
were right, but it really hurt my confidence. That’s
something I didn’t have at the end of the year.
But I’m coming in with a different mind-set this
year, and I’m feeling good."