2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Anthony DeAngelo

Derek Leung

The Player

Anthony DeAngelo

Defense

Sarnia Sting(OHL)

2013-2014 stats: 51 games 15 goals 56 assists 71 points 90 PIMs

Height: 5'10.5" Weight: 175 lbs.

Final Central Scouting Rank: 14th among NA skaters

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

The strengths are pretty easy to guess if you noticed the whole 71 points in 51 games from a defenseman. DeAngelo has elite offensive abilities from the blueline. He's a smooth skater and incredibly comfortable with the puck on his stick. His instincts and awareness in the offensive end are something that just can't be taught. DeAngelo is also one of the most experienced players in the draft, as the only first-year eligible player that has played four seasons of Tier I Jr. A hockey.

That said, DeAngelo comes with some pretty big red flags too. At 175 lbs., he sometimes struggles with handling physical play, and isn't as good on the defensive end of the ice as he is on the offensive end. Some of his big offensive numbers may also be a factor of playing for a Sarnia team that wasn't very good, which allowed him to play a little more selfishly. When he was released from the US World Junior team this past winter--which itself was another chapter in a long, complicated history between DeAngelo and USA Hockey--it was in part because of concerns about if he could play within the team concept.

How was his draft year? Trending Up or down?

His draft year was eventful, to say the least. DeAngelo came into the year as a potential first round pick and put up the type of statistics to hold that lofty ranking. But he was suspended in December for abuse of officials following a fight against Barrie. That itself wasn't a huge deal. But then, in late January, DeAngelo received an eight-game suspension from the OHL for a slur directed at an unnamed teammate. NHL Central Scouting kept him at 14th in their final rankings, but they're just assessing talent, and not necessarily the behind-the-scenes character stuff that NHL teams look at before making a pick. Those red flags, combined with rumors of past attitude problems, may have significantly hurt DeAngelo's draft stock.

Draft projection?

If there's one player ranked in the top 20/30 of the Central Scouting list that takes a significant plummet on draft day, DeAngelo would be the obvious choice. He'll likely be too risky of a choice for most teams to use a first round draft pick on him, but he's got elite-level skills in a draft that overall, seems slim on players with those all-world characteristics, so some team might be willing to take that gamble. Late first round to early second round is the most likely place DeAngelo will go.

Pro upside?

DeAngelo isn't strong enough defensively to be a 30-minutes-a-game number one defenseman in the NHL, but he could be a guy that plays regularly and quarterbacks a top power play unit. But for all the good he brings, he'll also likely cause his fans of his team their share of headaches with defensive play and the occasional embarrassing incident.

Where will he go next?

DeAngelo will go back to Sarnia next season, which will be his fourth year in Sarnia, and fifth of junior hockey.  He has little left to prove in junior hockey, though probably needs another couple years of physical maturity to better handle the physicality he'll face in the NHL.

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