With the 23rd selection in the 2014 Hockey Wilderness Mock Draft, the Los Angeles Kings select, 18 year old defenceman Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting in the OHL.
L.A Kings Prospect Overview
Hockey's Future has the Kings prospect pool ranked 21st in the NHL with a lack of depth and upside at the centre position cited as their main weakness, while an abundance of skilled wingers, a gritty group of defensive prospects and solid goaltending are their strengths,
DeAngelo is a speedy, creative offensive defenceman with great skating ability. While he isn't very strong at this point in his development, he has the hockey IQ and awareness to make up for it. He is ranked 14th among North American skaters by NHL.com so it would be quite a steal if he fell all the way to 29th. There's definitely room for a player like him in the Kings system.
In 3 seasons with Sarnia, he has scored 152 points in 181 games. He has been a -54 in the OHL, which might scare some people off, but +/- is an extremely flawed stat that doesn't tell you much about a player other than: he played in front of some terrible goaltending/his teammates couldn't put the puck in the net. According to ExtraSkater.com's stats, his EV P/60 for 2013/14 is the highest of any top defensive prospect and his on ice GF% was +8.7% relative to his team.
It's worth noting, he was involved in a major controversy back in February which might be a factor in where he gets drafted.
-Per Elite Prospects dot com:
DeAngelo is a smooth skating, offense-generating defenseman who has some very quick feet. He's slippery and very creative with the puck. His offensive awareness is incredible but is easily out-muscled in his own end and needs to work on his positioning.
-NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards:
Anthony is a skilled offensive defenseman. His puck skills and playmaking ability are excellent. He sees the ice very well and creates offensive scoring chances with great passes. He has a very good shot and gets it on net. DeAngelo likes to jump up into the rush and makes good decisions with the puck.
Where Would He Fit With The Wild?
I think he's a really good player, but I feel like an offensive defenceman isn't a major need. By the time DeAngelo is ready for the NHL, the Wild should have Dumba and Spurgeon providing good offence from the blueline supplemented by Suter, Scandella and Folin.
What do you think, Wilderness? Leave your thoughts in the comment section and make sure to check out the other editions in this series and look out for tomorrow's.