Tony DeAngelo still poised to lead the Rangers defense in scoring this season
Despite the possibility of being put on the third defensive pair,Tony DeAngelo will need to continue to put up the offensive numbers. It will be imperative for the New York Rangers to get similar output to make a run for the playoffs.
Tony DeAngelo to likely start on third pair this season
Tony DeAngelo had a career year for the Blueshirts last season finding the back of the net 15 times with 53 points in 68 games. He also found his place on the power play where he had 16 helpers. DeAngelo ranked 4th amongst defensemen in total points trailing only Victor Hedman (55 Pts.), Roman Josi ( 65 Pts.), and John Carlson (75 Pts.).
He began training camp playing with Jacob Trouba on his offside, which he did for three seasons in the OHL. According to David Quinn he did well, but the coaching staff wanted to try rookie K’Andre Miller with Trouba in Sunday’s Blue/ White exhibition game.
By the time Monday afternoon rolled around, DeAngelo not only found himself without Trouba as his partner, but will likely see less ice time paired with Jack Johnson on the third unit.
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Nothing is set in stone on the Rangers blue-line
The schedule demands depth at every position. The Rangers will only have two nights or more off consecutively 8 times through the entire four-month season.
DeAngelo is a much-needed player on the team this season. The unusual 56 game schedule will force the coaching staff to play the best players most games. Even more than usual, as it an 82 game schedule their are nights against lesser opponents where you are playing with a comfortable lead late.
The 24-year-old from Sewell, NJ will need to find a way to get the Blueshirts on the scoresheet. He averaged 19:17 of ice time last season and this season’s marathon-style schedule will require all six defensemen to see plenty of ice time to keep them fresh.
DeAngelo still Rangers best PP Quarterback
Tony will have his opportunity to score goals and make an impact on the club. Starting on the 3rd pair will impact his 5 on 5 point production, but he is still expected to be the #1 PP quarterback.
He will continue to be a positive force when the team has the man-advantage, an area he has worked hard on to be productive.
DeAngelo is entering his fourth season with the Rangers and fifth overall in the NHL. He has improved his scoring production every season since his debut in the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes.
Playing with Johnson is not anything that’s etched in stone. Throughout a season players endure slumps and make bad decisions on the ice. DeAngelo will have his opportunity to see more ice time and play important minutes. Especially if Miller struggles, DeAngelo could easily be moved up to the top pair on any given night.
DeAngelo needs to focus on his defense next to another new partner in Johnson and at the same time finding creative ways to get the puck into the opposition’s net. He’s already on record stating improving his work in the defensive end as a top priority.
One thing is certain, his value on the team hasn’t changed. Oddly enough, it seems very similar to last season when he was on the third pair with Marc Staal. This season, it’s just a different veteran in Jack Johnson.
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