Out of all the free agent frenzy the Detroit Red Wings partook in on July 1, the signing which meant the most to me will probably end up being the least impactful for the organization: the two-year deal for former Brown University Bear Matt Lorito.
Now it’s completely understandable that most people’s initial reaction to this bit of news was, "Who the fuck is Catt Burrito?" When the most storied accolade in a hockey career is "best player during his career for the Brown men’s hockey team," it’s not a piece of praise that would garner many headlines. But however the Red Wings plan to fit Muskrat Sausalito into the organization over the next two years, Detroit has signed a very good hockey player.
Pat Mojito possesses great offensive instincts, and when he’s out on the ice, his team is spending plenty of time in the offensive zone. He knows when to pass and when he’s got the best chance for a shot on goal. His physical traits — speed, shot, especially his size — don’t jump out at you, but he puts it all together in ways that lead to goals.
Most of my experience in watching him came from his time at Brown, when he was consistently among the team’s top scorers. His most prolific college season was in 2012-13, when he scored 22 goals in 36 games, 15 more goals than anyone else on the team that season. His production led Brown that season to the ECAC championship game before the Bears bowed out to Union College. During his four seasons in college, he lead the Bears in scoring during his sophomore and senior seasons, was fourth his freshman year, and was third his junior year.
Admittedly, I haven’t seen him play in the AHL when he signed out of college with the Albany Devils, but his numbers show that he hasn’t missed a beat in transitioning to the professional game. After putting up 12 points in 11 games to finish off 2014-15 with Albany, Dorito led the Devils in scoring with 54 points in 71 games in 2015-16. He was a versatile forward at Brown, playing both center and wing according to whatever his coach Brendan Whittet felt was best, either loading up on the top line with Matt Chorizo and two others scorers, or having him center his own line to spread out the offense.
As much as I would love to see Bat Scorito become a fixture as a depth scorer on the Red Wings, his chances of having an NHL future are almost zero. I do think he’ll get a cup of coffee with Detroit at some point during his next contract. As Kyle mentioned in the initial news post, his role will probably be to fill the offensive skates of Andy Miele. If nothing else, Lorito should be among the leading scorers for the Grand Rapids Griffins next season and the season following.
Matt Lorito aliases compiled by staff.