After being traded to the New York Rangers back in June, Anthony DeAngelo will now be skating with his third team. Can he make this one count?
DeAngelo, a former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lighting, will now bring his talent to Madison Square Garden. While talented, his style of hockey is considered by some to have some rough edges.
A native of Sewell, New Jersey, DeAngelo’s family and friends will be able to see him play more often than when he was in Arizona, whether he’s in the NHL or in the AHL at Hartford.
Before he can enjoy these opportunities, however, DeAngelo will have to beat out some good hockey players and earn his spot on the team. The kid is a fighter, which is good. For he’s about to face the toughest fight of his career thus far.
NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman caught up with DeAngelo last week to get his view on what he thinks about his new team and what he needs to do to make the roster.
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) August 16, 2017
“I think it’ll be good,” DeAngelo told Kimelman. “I think there’s changes going on there. They’re still a good hockey team. I just have to go in there and try to make the team out of [training] camp and keep moving forward.”
The battle to make this squad will be a difficult one. Assuming that Marc Staal will start on defense come Opening Day, DeAngelo will be battling Nick Holden and, most likely, rookie Alexei Bereglazov. There are no guarantees in Rangertown.
DeAngelo’s power play skills have been much talked about since the trade was made. Besides Kevin Shattenkirk, DeAngelo is the only other right-handed defenseman with a shot to make the team. As for the Rangers’ system, he believes “it is going to fit me really well.”
“I’ve got to continue to improve defensively,” DeAngelo remarked. “Even last year there were some things I’ve got to do a lot better. Sometimes the offense makes up for it, but through an 82-game schedule, you’ve got to be able to defend as well.”
He’s saying all the right things, but can he put this concept together when he is out on the ice?
DeAngelo is going to have to prove himself in training camp to keep his dream of playing professional hockey alive. It’s going to be a challenge for the 21-year-old. Can he win a battle for a spot in this lineup on one of the biggest stages in the world? He thinks he can.
“My plan is to make the team on opening night and not look back,” he said. “Just play the way I did when I had spurts last year when I was good enough to stay up. … So, I think if I play the way I can I be a full-time guy.”
DeAngelo will make the team and be part of the starting six-man rotation on Opening Day. But he needs to be consistent, not take bad penalties and must produce on the power play to stay there.
DeAngelo will have to work hard every night to keep his spot in this lineup. He is a young kid so expect some mistakes, but he will learn from them quickly. If he doesn’t, he’ll find himself skating in Hartford quickly, with Holden taking his spot.