Sewell, NJ native Anthony DeAngelo (Photo c/o Yahoo Sports Canada)
Slowly but surely, the Philadelphia and South/Central Jersey area is starting to produce NHL talent. Pittsburgh gets all the national love because of Brandon Saad, R.J. Umberger, Ryan Malone, and Ducks goalie prospect John Gibson among others. They deserve the spotlight and I’m not taking anything away from the superior talent the Pittsburgh and Eastern Ohio area is producing.
With that being said, Bobby Ryan, T.J. Brennan, James van Riemsdyk, Hobey Baker award frontrunner Johnny Gaudreau, Flyers prospect Nick Luukko, and now Sarnia Sting defenseman Anthony DeAngelo are all from the Philadelphia and South/Central Jersey area.
DeAngelo was raised in Sewell and played his youth hockey with the Mercer Chiefs. When he was 15, he left to play with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders and then shortly thereafter made a verbal commitment to play college hockey at Boston University.
That would all change for DeAngelo in 2011, when he was the 26th overall pick in the OHL Draft by the Sarnia Sting. He decided to make the jump and go to Canada to play his junior hockey, and so far it seems to be working out just fine.
In 2011-12, his rookie OHL campaign, DeAngelo posted six goals and 17 assists for 23 points in 68 games played. Last season, DeAngelo showed why he’s an offensive force registering nine goals and 45 assists for 58 points in 62 games played. DeAngelo currently leads all OHL defenseman in scoring with 13 goals and 47 assists for 60 points in 41 games played.
He was one of the final cuts for the Team USA world junior squad this year, but I expect him to play a prominent role next season.
NHL Central Scouting lists DeAngelo as their top-rated American-born skater in their mid-term rankings sitting 10th overall. ISS Hockey has the diminutive right-handed defenseman as their 23rd best prospect in their January rankings, while TSN’s Bob McKenzie lists him as his 26th best prospect.
DeAngelo is a smooth skating, offensive-minded defenseman who has some incredibly quick feet. He’s creative and slippery with the puck, but he also has a feisty side at times. He’s not the biggest guy at 5’11, 175 pounds, but he does like to throw his body around.
What I like about DeAngelo’s game is his heavy shot from the backend. He can quarterback a powerplay and his shot is reminiscent of P.K. Subban’s. DeAngelo does have a lot of Subban-esque qualities to his game. He’s not as big and powerful as P.K., but the feistiness and creative side Subban employs on the ice, DeAngelo does as well.
Here is quick little video of DeAngelo’s ability.
His puck skill and playmaking ability are excellent, as he sees the ice very well and creates offensive. From what I’ve seen, DeAngelo likes to jump up into the rush. However, too many times he gets himself into trouble when he over-handles the puck. At the end of they day, scouts will be looking for what he can do defensively. Right now, he just needs to develop and be more consistent defensively.
For me personally, I think he’s vastly underrated. The bottom-line is you can’t teach speed and talent and DeAngelo has both. His speed right now translates to the NHL. Some people have said he’s Ryan Ellis or Ryan Murphy 2.0. I don’t buy that one bit. I said he has some P.K. Subban qualities, but he compares best to Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle.
I still can’t believe Don Lucia cut him from the US WJC team. I think DeAngelo is going to be a playmaker in the NHL for a long time if he gets drafted by a solid organization that can be patient and allow time for him to grow his game. I’m looking right at you Chicago, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and Boston.
So where will he end up?
I do think his lack of defensive prowess and size will scare off teams and make him a late-first round pick. DeAngelo will almost certainly still be on the board when the Flyers select. With the Wells Fargo center being only about a 25 minute drive or so from Sewell, how neat would it be for the Flyers to take the hometown kid?
I’ll tell you what, if they do select him, a future defense corps of Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin, Robert Haag, and Tony DeAngelo sounds pretty darn good.