Since his recall in mid-January, New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo has been playing much better hockey while auditioning for a right-handed spot in 2018-19, but the news that DeAngelo will miss 3-4 weeks will be a tough pill to swallow.
Anthony DeAngelo has really come on as of late looking motivated and prime to make a run as a premiere offensive-defenseman for the New York Rangers. But unfortunately, against the Carolina Hurricanes on the 12th, DeAngelo suffered a sprained ankle and will be sidelined 3-4 weeks.
DeAngelo, who has amassed seven assists in 24 games since his recall was starting to see his game come around and even impress Alain Vigneault, via SNY.
“he has been coming along. You see the skill level with the puck. I think for Tony, like a lot of young players, it’s understanding the game, what plays to make that are right for the situation. Just a matter of improving his overall knowledge of the game with and without the puck, by doing that, obviously playing more, he will get better. There is definitely a skill set but like any young player it’s about putting it together. You gotta understand the game and have the right attitude and work ethic, Tony is a young player going through the different stages. Some get it together quicker than others but in Tony’s case, I think he was on the right track.”
The biggest miss will be the added ice time that he was getting and continue to prove himself as an everyday NHLer.
Another problem DeAngelo will run into is that others may/will pass him on the depth chart. As we all know, Vigneault likes to employ three left-handed and three right-handed shot defenseman in his six-man groups. DeAngelo, a righty, will almost certainly be behind Kevin Shattenkirk and with the highly impressive play of freshman Neal Pionk as of late, things will start to get tight for DeAngelo.
There is no questioning DeAngelo has the skill set with the puck and on the power play to play the game at a high level. In other good news, there haven’t been any reports of attitude or off-ice incidents that are preventing DeAngelo from making an impact.
It’s decision making with and without the puck while garnering a fuller understanding of the game that will help him. Unfortunately for DeAngelo, those are things best taught by live game action. Hopefully, DeAngelo can rebound next year and have a strong training camp.