Anthony DeAngelo: Meet New York Rangers Power Play

 

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Last Friday, the Rangers traded forward Derek Stepan and backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall pick, which was used to draft Center Lias Andersson.

DeAngelo was the 19th overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He has had some issues on and off the ice, including a suspension for abuse of an official and some behavioral issues on the bench. However, DeAngelo was picked 19th overall for a reason. As Bob Mckenzie said when he was first drafted: “he has elite level skating and skill abilities.” He also went on to say “Anthony DeAngelo is the most offensively gifted defenseman in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft”. He won quite a few awards in the OHL, one being the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman. Notable players to win this award include Marc Staal, Chris Pronger, Aaron Ekblad, Drew Doughty and Al MacInnis.

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So Anthony, meet the New York Rangers Power Play. They were eleventh in the league last year, and that’s the highest it’s been over the last seven seasons. In that time, the Rangers have been outside of the top 15 in Power Play rankings five times and outside the top 20 three times. The Playoffs are where they were hurt the most by this special teams nightmare when the Rangers only scored twice on 24 power play attempts against Ottawa and went 1-15 against Montreal in round one. It doesn’t take a scientist to see Rangers struggle with the man advantage.

How could DeAngelo help the situation? Right now they don’t have an offense-first defenseman. Team captain Ryan McDonagh has been forced to play that role and has done so admirably, but he could use a rest. DeAngelo brings that offense which the Rangers lack. Prior to coming to Broadway, he had 14 points in 39 games in his rookie season, eight of which were on the PP. He had 59 points in 94 games while in the AHL, split between the Syracuse Crunch and Tuscon Road Runners.

As Jeff Gorton said “for us DeAngelo is a guy who could run the power play and can shoot the puck“. We don’t know what pairings would be at this point, but you have to imagine Gorton plans on DeAngelo being in the lineup come October and running the power play. If say the Blueshirts add Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers would have made two huge upgrades at the point for special teams.

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