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Trade to Rangers Brings DeAngelo Closer to Home

Defenseman talks about joining Blueshirts following trade from Coyotes

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Being traded is always difficult, but for Anthony DeAngelo, the landing spot of New York was about as good as it could have been.

The 21-year-old blueliner, who was acquired Friday from Arizona, has many reasons to be excited for the landing spot.

"I was really excited," DeAngelo told on Monday. "I think if I was a free agent for example, the Rangers would be probably the first team on my list of picks. When you get traded, it's tough, but when you know you're going to a team you would love to play for, especially New York, it's exciting."

DeAngelo is from Sewell, N.J., which is south of Philadelphia. The move east from the desert allows him to play closer to home and giving family and friends an easier commute to watch him play on something other than the television screen.

"I think they're really excited," DeAngelo said of his family. "They can train, they can drive [to the games]. I've got a bunch of people from up this way, friends of mine that I used to play with that are big Rangers fans. It's good to have a big following. They'll all be close so it'll be fun."

Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton described the 2014 first round pick as a smooth skating defenseman who can help offensively, especially on the power play. DeAngelo had no changes to that scouting report.

"I think he described it well," DeAngelo said with a laugh. "I listened to [his comments] and I think he described it well. He knows hockey as good as anybody, right? It's kind of spot on. It's the way I play. [My game is] going to be up-tempo and try and help out on the offense. Defend and get pucks in the forwards' hands and then go join them. That's a big part of my game."

With Friday's trade with the Coyotes, coupled with the buyout of defenseman Dan Girardi, the Rangers will have a different look for the 2017-18 campaign. While the draft is in the rearview mirror, the free agency courting period has begun and of course, there could be more trades to be made.

But despite some unknowns in personnel, DeAngelo is excited to join this Rangers group.

"It's a good, young team," said DeAngelo, who said Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey have already contacted him to welcome him to the team. "Sometimes when you give up players, you get other players in. That'll happen in the next couple weeks leading up to the season. We've got a lot of good, young players on the team and a great goalie. I think you can only keep getting better."

After making his debut and posting five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 39 games last season, DeAngelo said he's fully confident he can earn a permanent spot on the Rangers blueline and establish himself as an NHL regular.

"I'm fully confident in myself that I can," he said. "That's what I'm coming to camp to prove. I thought I could - in my opinion - have all last year too. I'm looking forward to trying to establish myself as an everyday guy."

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