There’s something in the water in New Jersey that has caught the attention of John Chayka and the Arizona Coyotes.
We met Toms River native Cam Dineen earlier in our count-down. Today we travel 51 miles southwest to Sewell to meet Anthony DeAngelo, one of the most talented offensive-defensemen in Arizona’s system, and one of the most polarizing players to our panel.
#11 - Anthony DeAngelo - Right-Handed Defenseman - Syracuse Crunch (AHL) - 19th overall pick, 2014 NHL Draft (Tampa Bay)
Highest Rank: 4
Lowest Rank: 19
Anthony DeAngelo could either be the next Keith Yandle or the next David Rundblad, depending on who you ask.
DeAngelo was selected 19th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014 and recorded six goals and thirty-seven assists in his first AHL season last year with Syracuse. He averaged over a point per game in his OHL career, with 55 goals and 186 assists in 236 games.
However, as we noted at the time the Coyotes acquired DeAngelo in exchange for the 37th overall pick in 2016, DeAngelo has been plagued by questions about his temperament dating all the way back to major-junior.
But his skill is undeniable. Here is DeAngelo embarrassing a pair of OHL players in the offensive zone back in October of 2014.
That is what Arizona is in desperate need of on the power play; creativity, hockey-sense, and an ability to squeeze the puck into tight spaces that can disrupt or defeat the penalty killing shell.
He will need to improve in his own end, and that will likely be the reason he starts this season with the Tucson Roadrunners. But if he can make major strides in that area over the next couple of seasons, he has the offensive tools to be a major contributor to the Coyotes in a very short amount of time.
Dissenting Opinion: Carl Pavlock - Ranked #4
For me DeAngelo has two qualities that put him above the other defensive prospects that we have, his potential offensive upside and his time in the AHL last season.
The Coyotes have been addressing their deficits on defense this past off season by largely drafting defensemen and signing Alex Goligoski. While these are definitely positive moves, the team still seems to be missing a Keith Yandle player, someone who brings close to 50 points per season and can take control of the power play. While Jakob Chychrun and Kyle Wood may become better overall defensemen, DeAngelo seems to be the player who is able to fill that high offensive-defensemen role for the Coyotes.
Along with the high potential, and the chance he can fill a very dire need for the team, DeAngelo seems like he may be the first of the defensive prospects to make it to the NHL. Historically defensemen take longer to develop, and DeAngelo having an extra year suggests that he is closer to making an impact on the NHL level compared to the other prospects on the team. Depending on how the season plays out DeAngelo could be a call up this next season, and could be a permanent fixture for the team in the next few seasons, long before some of our other prospects.