Sarnia Sting defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, No. 10 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, was suspended for eight games by the Ontario Hockey League for violation of the league's harassment and abuse/diversity policy.
The suspension was announced on the OHL website Friday afternoon.
DeAngelo hasn't played since he was involved in an incident in a game Jan. 31 against the Guelph Storm. According to the report DeAngelo made "a most inappropriate statement to a teammate" to incur his suspension. The suspension is retroactive to Feb. 1, meaning DeAngelo needs to serve three more games before being eligible to return to the lineup, Feb. 22 against the Ottawa 67's.
DeAngelo leads all OHL defensemen with 47 assists and 60 points in 43 games.
The Sting have lost eight straight games and are last in the league with 13 games remaining in the regular season. Sarnia's next game is Friday against the London Knights.
"[This issue] has been hanging over our heads for a while and it's been a distraction," Sarnia coach Trevor Letowski told the Sarnia Observer. "It's not an excuse for the product on the ice but it's certainly been a distraction and we're hoping for some closure."