A signing that turned a lot of heads, Tony DeAngelo came to Raleigh this year and had maybe his best NHL season to date.
Tony DeAngelo 2021-22 By The Numbers
- Age: 26
- NHL Seasons: 6
- Scoring: 10 goals, 41 assists, 51 points in 64 games
- Playoff Scoring: 1 goal, 9 assists, 10 points in 14 games
- Advanced Statistics: 54.83 CF%, 54.87 SCF%, 55.42 xGF%, 66.33 GF%
- Average TOI: 16:37 ES, 3:02 PP, 0:08 SH
- Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent
One of the most controversial free agent signings for any team last summer, the Carolina Hurricanes went out and inked Tony DeAngelo to a one-year deal to help quell the loss of Dougie Hamilton.
DeAngelo came in and made an impact from the very start, as he finished the year fifth on the Hurricanes with 51 points while finishing just three off the team lead with a career-best 41 assists on the year. He quarterbacked a power play that was, at times, dangerous (though at others, not so much), and he played a big role in the Hurricanes’ ability to score the puck at 5-on-5.
Apart from the on-ice performance, DeAngelo came into the fold with the Canes mired in some controversy from his past. And to DeAngelo’s credit, he had absolutely no issues in his first year with the Hurricanes. By all accounts he was a consummate teammate, and there was not even a sniff of anything controversial from him throughout the season. The Hurricanes’ brass insisted last offseason that they had done their research on DeAngelo and felt he deserved this chance with the team, and he delivered on his part to justify their faith in him for at least a year.
DeAngelo came out of the gate offensively on fire in 2021. He had two assists in his very first game with the Hurricanes, and he contributed 33 points for the team through his first 32 games. From opening day on Oct. 14 all the way until Jan. 29, his 34th game of the year, DeAngelo did not have back-to-back pointless games.
Things slowed down quite a bit for DeAngelo in the back half of the season offensively, as he followed up those 33 points in the first 32 games with just 18 points in his last 32. A big part of this was the Hurricanes’ power play, led by DeAngelo, starting to falter. He had 13 of his 18 power-play assists in his first half.
The playoffs were kind of a similar story for DeAngelo, who started things out on fire before starting to struggle. He had eight points in seven games in Carolina’s first-round series against Boston, but he managed just two points in seven games against his former team in the second round as the Hurricanes exited the postseason earlier than expected.
All that was offensive contribution, certainly the stronger part of DeAngelo’s game as a blue liner. As good as he was at times moving the puck, he was also a liability defensively for a whole lot of the season.
While playing alongside Jaccob Slavin definitely allowed DeAngelo to be a little more aggressive in joining the attack, he consistently misplayed pucks and opposing skaters to allow chances. He isn’t a great defensive defenseman, something that was well known even before this season, and he had his fair share of struggles there throughout the year.
All in all, it was an interesting season to say the least for DeAngelo. At times, he looked like a completely capable offensive replacement for Hamilton, though he never matched Hamilton’s defensive abilities. But at other times, DeAngelo was somewhat absent.
Still, DeAngelo came into the mix in Raleigh and played arguably the best hockey of his NHL career with the Canes. From an on-ice standpoint, DeAngelo’s contributions while making just $1 million were a huge value add for the Hurricanes. He led the power play. He played on the top pairing, and he contributed in a way that I’m not even sure the Canes’ front office fully expected.