Tony DeAngelo’s hot start is a big positive in a rebuilding year

NY Rangers defenseman has 11 points in 13 games

The 2019-2020 season was always going to be a make-or-break season for Tony DeAngelo. The Rangers made that clear when he was given a one-year bridge deal as a “show me” contract. Now with 11 points in 13 games, DeAngelo is one of the few consistent bright spots on a Rangers blue line that is, for lack of a better phrase, bad.

DeAngelo’s 5-6-11 line puts him third on the team in scoring and four points ahead of Jacob Trouba (1-6-7) for the defense scoring lead. DeAngelo’s talent is what made him a high draft pick, but it was his attitude issues that made the Rangers his third team in as many years. With those issues seemingly behind him, DeAngelo has forced himself onto the top powerplay unit with his superb play.

Last season, DeAngelo was the best offensive transition defenseman in the game:

This season’s numbers aren’t available yet, but we haven’t seen DeAngelo slow down in this aspect of his game. He’s still one of the only defensemen that prefers to carry/pass the puck out of the zone instead of those chip clears that wind up as turnovers.

It is worth noting that DeAngelo is not a perfect defenseman. For all his offensive prowess, he’s not overly good at in-zone defending.

This is one particular example from Monday’s game (sorry for the blue tint – cell phone pictures of my TV don’t work overly well). DeAngelo is behind the net when the puck is on the other side, he should be in front. This led to a goal.

Plays like that show up in his defensive stats. So far this season, his defensive metrics are pretty rough. Granted all of the Rangers have bad defensive metrics, but DeAngelo has had this particular concern throughout most of his young career. That said, the good far outweighs the bad here, and DeAngelo’s ability to produce consistent offense is worth the defensive issues that come with it.

The defensive issues aren’t unique to DeAngelo, especially given this train wreck of a defensive team as a whole and system they play. I’m getting to a point where the defensive numbers are just noise to me because the system is so bad and so many players succeed away from the Rangers and get worse when coming to the Rangers. But for DeAngelo, this is a strong sign of good, consistent offensive numbers multiple years in a row. In a rebuild, this is what you want to see.

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  • ADA is going to be a very good offensive d-man, and being given a chance, he proved to the world that AV was an ass treating the kid the way he did!!! The kid has gotten his head on straight, and is showing how effective he really is. I have a bad feeling that they are showing this kid off, and will include him in a package some time down the road.

      • Quinn turned him around, helped Tony get his head on straight, and Tony himself has freely admitted it. He also did a good job of getting Buchnevich to play the game he’s capable of. That being said, Tony is turning into a real offensive threat. I’d love to see the Rangers teach him how to take face offs, and try him at center.

        • Agreed Joe, Quinn has done a great job with DeAngelo, and to his credit, Tony confirmed that Quinn helped him. To Tony’s credit too, he has been showing more and more the skills that he has as a player. He may never be great in the D-zone, but he is better than he was. So long as he keeps putting up points at an above average rate and being a fine transition defenseman, he will find a job in the NHL. I’d like the Rangers to keep him if possible. Skilled players don’t grow on trees.

        • I’m not disagreeing, was just pointing out that his “treatment” was the same under both coaches. I’m not crazy about the method, but I can’t argue with the results Quinn has gotten out of Tony D and a guy like Buchnevich, who looks GREAT — Buchy has really found his game and hopefully he remains a Ranger for a long long time.

          • The treatment was certainly NOT the same. When AV put someone in his doghouse he barely spoke to him. Messaging via the silent treatment, for the most part.

            Quinn is the opposite. He communicates well and advises the player why he is in the doghouse and what he has to do to get out of the doghouse.

            Very different.

  • No way we can afford to pay him next year. Let him continue to shine until the trade deadline.

    Would be nice to find a way to keep him at a fair cost.

    • Right now we can only guess at what our cap situation is going to be next year. We know that trades are going to be made, even if we don’t know for sure who’s coming or going. Some of our prospects may be ready, some won’t, so we don’t know where the holes in the line-up will be. If he keeps improving, we’ll try to find a way to keep him if we want to.

      • We need to do something with Krieder, something with Strome, something with Georgi and hope that Staal retires. We have quite a bit to consider with more defensive help around the corner than scoring help.

  • I pushed to have him signed long term this summer … we still should. There will always be time to trade him in the future. Our RD is truly blessed … our left d’ is cursed.

  • ADA is an extremely talented young dman, should be what everyone wants. Right away – we can’t afford to pay him. Why not – they will have the Staal buyout to work with, and perhaps the other albatross contracts with one year to go will be addressed in some manner. Same with Strome – a 26 year old who has been nothing but productive since coming here. But many, especially those that say last season was a mirage, say we can’t afford to pay him, trade him now while he has maximum value.

    If we can’t afford to pay talented young players who are playing well for us we might as well give up.

    • Agreed Orland. If they cannot keep players with skills then they need to manage their cap better or find someone who can. I know it isn’t easy, but there seem to be some teams who do it better than others.

    • I may be mistaken, and it won’t be the first time, but we are limited to the number of buyouts at two. We have on record Girardi, and Shatty, so that may not be an option for us. Again I think this is the case??

      • Walt – when you mentioned the limitation it jogged my memory that you might be right and I poked around the internet. Seems like their was a two compliance buyout limitation in 2013 and 2014. I do not find any such limitation at the present time.

      • Doesn’t seem like the buyout limitation in effect in 2013 and 2014 exists anymore, at least as far as I can determine.

  • When you have Trouba, Panarin and Hank under contract, those 3 eat a significant portion of CAP space. Add Skjei, Staal and Zibby and you have about half of the whole CAP. You need many minimum value contracts to make this work

    • Hank, Staal and Smith will be off the books after next season, sign the younger players (like Georgiev, DeAngelo, etc.) longer term earlier in order to avoid these excessive contracts, like the ones you just mentioned.

      • SIgning Georgiev and Shestyorkin both to long term contracts may be impossible. I would imagine that they both intend to be paid as #1 NHL goalies, and I don’t see how we can fit two of those contracts under the cap, without sacrificing another top player on offense or defense.

  • Tony D is not a winning player, with his horrific defense, he needs to have offense numbers like Kris Letang or Duncan Keith to make up for it.
    It’s easy to put some numbers against the worst team of the NHL, while getting crashed by top lines of the elite teams of the league.

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