Born in Sewell, New Jersey, the former 2nd round pick (26th overall) in the 2011 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection is in his third season with the Sarnia Sting.
Prior to joining the Sting, he played in 28 games for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL) where he scored once and added 14 assists. He was a 15th round pick (222 overall) of the Roughriders in the USHL Entry Draft. At the time, he was also the youngest player to ever lace up skates in the USHL.
DeAngelo had committed to playing for Boston University, but as happens much too often, decided to make the jump to the OHL.
During his rookie season in 2011-2012, it was evident that DeAngelo possessed some very good offensive talent. He finished third in rookie scoring among defenseman (Olli Maatta, London Knights – 32 and Aaron Ekblad, Barrie Colts - 29) with 6 goals and 17 assists while playing in all 68 games for the Sting.
He took the next step in 2012-2013 finishing third among OHL defensemen in scoring (Ryan Sproul, Soo Greyhounds – 66 and Cody Ceci, Ottawa/Owen Sound – 64) when he compiled 9 goals and 49 assists in 62 games. His 49 assists were the highest among OHL defenders.
The summer of 2013 saw him play for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial where he notched 6 assists in 4 games for the Americans and helping them get to the gold medal game where they would eventually lose to Team Canada. He’s carried that over to this season where he’s been on a tear early on.
There’s no questioning the talent DeAngelo possesses. The question right up to the draft will be his 5’11 167 pound frame and how that will translate to the National Hockey League. That aside, he is a very good skater with excellent vision. Team those qualities up with excellent hockey sense and you have a recipe for success.
Like any young player, getting the most out of those assets is the key. That doesn’t necessarily mean that DeAngelo is a “me first” type of player or that he isn’t a team player. Simply, if he can utilize those assets to the fullest, there’s no telling where his ceiling may be. He’s learned to be more responsible in picking his spots to pinch and is learning how to use his teammates more instead of trying to beat 5 defenders on his own all the time, but it is still a work in progress, and something his coaches have been working on with him.
DeAngelo is known for having somewhat of a bad temper, sometimes getting him into trouble last season, even taking an abuse of officials misconduct. But members of the Sting organization say there has been none of that on and off the ice this season.
Perhaps no one has seen more of Anthony DeAngelo than DobberProspects than manager and scout Brendan Ross and he took the time to do a question and answer with us:
OHLW: DeAngelo seems to be less likely to take risks when pinching in the offensive zone and picking his spots more than he has in the past. Is that a fair assessment?
Ross: Very fair assessment. DeAngelo's game has matured a great deal over the last six months. He is learning to pick his spots much better as to when to jump into the rush and scouts will appreciate that progression. His elite mobility and offensive puck skills are rare attributes in a defenseman but, so far, Tony appears to understand that his chances will come to him and that he doesn't need to force the play.
OHLW: He also seems to be putting in a more conscious effort defensively. What improvements have you noticed, specifically in the defensive zone?
Ross: DeAngelo isn't the biggest defender but he's an extremely competitive player and it's clear that former NHLer Andy Delmore is helping his defensive game. Previously seen leaving assignments uncovered, DeAngelo now understands that with his skating ability he can take care of his own zone first and foremost, and then easily jump up into the rush, if needed, after that. His positioning and stick checks appear to be improved and he's found on the right side of the puck in his own zone much more often, which wasn't the case always last season.
OHLW: At 5'11 and 167 pounds, he's not known for his size. How do you feel he'll translate to the NHL?
Ross: The influx of skilled offensive defensemen into the NHL bodes well for DeAngelo's future. Smaller defensemen normally take longer to crack the regular roster as extra time is spent increasing strength and perfecting defensive positioning but puck rushing defenseman are certainly a commodity in this puck possession era. DeAngelo's elusive skating style, crafty puck skills and determination will allow him to survive at smaller size. He's shown a no-fear approach and isn't shy about dropping the gloves or making a big hit either. He will just have to be more selective at the next level.
OHLW: DeAngelo is a tremendous offensive talent, but wants to be known for his all around game. He's had early comparisons to NHL All-Star Dan Boyle. Is that a fair comparison?
Ross: I like the Dan Boyle comparison although I would argue that he has more feistiness in his game and certainly has more swagger in his game.
OHLW: He's had a bit of a bad temper in the past but has also seemed to move past that. What are your thoughts?
Ross: To this point in his draft year, DeAngelo has done an excellent job at reeling in his temper showing that he's matured quite a bit. His fuse is a short one and it's because he's such a passionate competitor but I'm sure it's an area that NHL scouts are watching closely. DeAngelo is one of the most dangerous offensive defensemen in the OHL and he's really embraced his role as a leader on this Sarnia Sting club. It's not always easy being a competitive player on a rebuilding squad as frustration mounts quickly but DeAngelo is an integral piece of this rebuild and has served as a good role model.
You can follow Brendan Ross on twitter https://twitter.com/Rossyyoungblood