Anthony DeAngelo, the Sewell, NJ native playing for the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, is one of the most high octane offensive defenseman to come along in years. He didn’t just put up more points than games played, he put up more assist than games played. That’s pretty impressive for any position, let alone a defenseman. DeAngelo seems like the kind of player that can QB any scoring line or PP unit.
But then, well, we get to some pretty nasty stuff.
Here's the thing with DeAngelo's situation: it’s just not good. He was suspended eight games in February for violating the OHL's harrassement and abuse/diversity policy, and it was the second time he's been suspended under that policy.
The press releases don’t list what kind of slurs were used, but this was no "misunderstanding" or "I was joking" situation. There is no acceptable way to spin this. Sarnia's a top team in the OHL and yet this was serious enough for DeAngelo, their best defensive player, to sit for weeks. I want to talk about the other flaws in his game, but they seem pretty minuscule compared to this.
Small defenseman have succeeded in the NHL, the league is transitioning into offensive-defenseman, etc. He can get be a solid NHLer, and is a very good prospect. But in a league that takes the "locker room" more seriously than any other in the five major North American sports, I find it hard to believe that a franchise will spend an importannt asset on someone who may be a detriment to the team regardless of talent.
Then again, he is a local kid, he fills a bunch of needs, and he’ll probably get the Bobby Ryan treatment if the Flyers don’t draft him, so here's his profile.
- Born: 10-24-1995
- Nationality: USA
- Height: 5’11"
- Weight: 168 lbs
- Position: Defense
- Team(s) – Sarnia (OHL)
I’ll admit that the stat line and the style that DeAngelo plays with are what we want in a Flyers defenseman. And I’m sure his ability and local ties are intriguing to the Flyers as well. In a perfect world, he would probably be a great pick for the Flyers.
But we don’t live in a perfect world. The fact that he got in trouble for using slurs is bad enough. The fact that it happened more than once is even worse. The fact that he used them directed at his own teammates concerns me about him off the ice. I’m not one who believes in the "locker room culture" being as big a deal as it is often made out to be. I think it’s an argument used by people who dislike change.
But this isn’t Jeff Carter and Mike Richards showing up at keggers at Temple. This isn’t Martin St. Louis requesting a trade. This especially isn’t a "boys will be boys" issue, either. He's been in trouble twice for using slurs against people, and that's just not acceptable in hockey today, or in today's society, and it has a very real potential to hold back his career. And it should.
I’m trying to be as impartial about these prospect profiles as possible. But I just can’t with DeAngelo. I don’t believe the Flyers, or any team will draft him in the first round, and I especially don’t want the Flyers to draft him in the first round. Heck, I’m not sure I really want the Flyers to take him in the 2nd round either, even though I can somewhat justify the talent over risk then. I don’t think he gets drafted in the 1st round anyway, but the bright red flags are too much for me to ignore. Just say no Flyers. Just say no.
Watch for Yourself