BUFFALO — Two years ago, Tampa Bay scouting director Al Murray had nothing but good things to say about Anthony DeAngelo, who the Bolts took 19th overall at the draft.
Now, DeAngelo is gone.
In a Day 2 surprise, Tampa Bay sent DeAngelo to Arizona in exchange for the 37th overall pick, which the Bolts used to select Czech defenseman Libor Hajek.
At the time of selection, Murray called DeAngelo “the most skilled offensive defenseman in the draft,” saying he was a better passer and puck mover than the No. 1 overall pick — Aaron Ekblad.
“Ekblad’s a special player, but he doesn’t have the offensive ability that Anthony has at this point,” he said. “Aaron Ekblad’s a tremendous player. He’s physically strong enough to be in the NHL next year, he’s a shutdown defenseman that plays with a mean streak.
“But when it comes to his actual puck skills and offensive game, he makes a solid first pass and he’s got a bomb for a shot from the point — but we don’t see the same ability to move the puck around, have the same vision, make all the different passes in different zones that Anthony has.”
This year, his first pro season with AHL Syracuse, DeAngelo produced well offensively — six goals and 43 points in 69 games — so it’s not 100 percent clear why the Bolts decided to ship him out.
DeAngelo, 20, did have some disciplinary issues while playing junior hockey.
He was slapped with an eight-game suspension midway through the ’13-14 campaign for using a slur against a teammate. From Yahoo:
The Ontario Hockey League announced they had suspended [DeAngelo] eight games for violating the league’s harassment, abuse and diversity policy.
It’s the second time this season the 18-year-old has been suspended for contravening the rule which attempts to keep homophobic, racist, sexist, and the other derogatory language used by small minds – out of the game.
DeAngelo also missed three games for the Crunch this year, which were classified as a “coach’s decision.”