Player: Anthony DeAngelo
Drafted By: Tampa Bay Lightning (19th overall)
Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 14 North American skater
Height/Weight: 5'11'', 165 lbs
DOB: October 24, 1995 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: OHL, Sarnia Sting
During the 2010-11 season, Anthony DeAngelo made a splash by becoming the youngest player to appear in a USHL game. He appeared in three games as a 14-year-old with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He finished that campaign with 15 points in 28 games—good enough to get the attention of the Sarnia Sting, despite missing a majority of the season with a broken kneecap.
DeAngelo originally committed to play for Boston University but eventually joined the Sting for the 2011-12 season. He appeared in the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for the United States U18 team before his second campaign in Sarnia.
As a sophomore in the OHL, DeAngelo really began to shine as a puck-moving defenseman. He finished with 58 points in 62 games, which was good for fifth in team scoring. He only improved on his offensive numbers this year, piling up 71 points across 51 contests and finishing second on the Sting in scoring.
Full Scouting Report
Numbers don't tell the whole story, but one glance at DeAngelo's stat line should tell you what you need to know about his strengths and weaknesses. While he typically produces a high volume of points, he tends to struggle in his own zone a bit and has a reputation as being flappable.
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards broke down the defender's game like this:
Anthony is a skilled offensive defenseman. His puck skills and playmaking ability are excellent. He sees the ice very well and creates offensive scoring chances with great passes. He has a very good shot and gets it on net. DeAngelo likes to jump up into the rush and makes good decisions with the puck.
Scouting reports on NHL.com don't usually go out of their way to be negative, but one only needs to watch the 2014 CHL Top Prospects game tape to see where and why DeAngelo struggles defensively sometimes.
The suspension and general attitude issues have obviously played into this ranking. But, he's still a teenager and he has the chance to mature as a person... He led the OHL in defenseman scoring by a large margin despite playing in nearly 20 less games. His stats would have pro-rated him to a 90+ point season had he not missed games for various reasons. He could have led the league in defensive scoring by over 30 points. That's no fluke. He's like having a 4th forward out there. His skating ability is absolutely phenomenal, as is his ability to carry the puck and avoid checks. Because of this, he's generally able to enter the offensive zone with ease at this level.
The positives and negatives are clear here: Dynamic offensive talent that comes with a bit of baggage.
NHL Player Comparison
One the ice, DeAngelo reminds The Hockey News' Ryan Kennedy of Kevin Shattenkirk. Due to his fiery attitude on the ice, it's easy to see some P.K. Subban in there as well, though the Montreal Canadien dynamo hasn't ever been suspended for making derogatory remarks to an official (or teammate).
DeAngelo is a defensively irresponsible defenseman who is undersized and needs to deal with his on-ice composure at the OHL level, let alone in the NHL. He's a good two or three years out, which makes the 2016-17 season the earliest we'll see him at the pro level.
The best aspect of DeAngelo as a prospect is that the issues he has are fixable. He needs to show commitment to getting better and mentally tougher, but he'll be given ample time to do so. Puck-moving defenders are becoming more and more important to successful NHL teams, so DeAngelo's ceiling is that of a high-end passer and skater.
The Shattenkirk comparison comes into play here. At his best, DeAngelo could be the offensive half of a top-four pairing, depending on where he fits on the depth chart when he's ready to be an everyday NHL player.