Angelo Esposito: Wikis

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Born February 20, 1989 (1989-02-20) (age 20),
Montreal, PQ, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team (P)
Cur. team
Atlanta Thrashers
Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 20th overall, 2007
Pittsburgh Penguins
Career 2008 – present

Angelo Esposito (born February 20, 1989, in Montréal, Québec) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) and is a prospect for the Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins twentieth overall in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Contents

Playing career

Esposito's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) career started in controversy. He was considered a possible first overall draft choice in the QMJHL, but told all general managers that he intended to play college hockey in the NCAA. As a result, he was passed up by the first ten picks in the QMJHL Draft. Just minutes before the Val d'Or Foreurs were slated to make their pick, at eleventh overall, the Quebec Remparts announced that they had traded several players and draft choices to get the Foreurs' drafting position and selected Esposito. A couple of weeks later, Esposito and the Remparts came to an agreement, despite his previously announced college hockey commitment.

Esposito began his QMJHL rookie season, in 2005–06, centering the first line. Esposito scored in his first regular season game on his very first shift against the Rimouski Océanic. By mid-season, Esposito was selected QMJHL Rookie of the Month twice and the Offensive Player of the Week once. However, after playing at the World U17 Hockey Challenge as the captain of Team Quebec, Esposito's offensive production slowed and was temporarily assigned to the third line at one point in the season. He finished his rookie campaign with 98 points, second among QMJHL's rookies, behind Claude Giroux, and was named the league rookie of the year. Along with wingers Mathieu Melanson (86 points) and Alexander Radulov (152 points), the Remparts' first line was the most productive scoring line in the entire league. Despite losing in the President's Cup final series 4–2 to the Moncton Wildcats, Esposito and the Remparts earned a berth in the 2006 Memorial Cup as tournament hosts. Although Esposito struggled in the QMJHL playoffs with just 11 points in 23 games, he contributed a strong 5-point effort in 4 games during the Memorial Cup, helping the Remparts to a 6–2 victory in the final against Moncton.

Impressing many in his major junior rookie season, Esposito was touted early as a possible first-overall pick for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.[1] He had, in fact, already drawn comparisons to former Remparts star Guy Lafleur.[2] However, declining offensive production at the junior level – his points total fell from 98 to 79 – led to him eventually being picked twentieth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Esposito's offensive output declined once more to 69 points in his third QMJHL season in 2007–08. On February 26, 2008, the Penguins traded his NHL rights to the Atlanta Thrashers along with Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, and a 2008 first-round draft pick in a trade-deadline deal for Marián Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.[3] At the conclusion of his 2007–08 season with the Remparts, he made his professional debut with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL).[4] In the off-season, he was traded in the QMJHL by the Remparts to the Montreal Juniors on June 7, 2008.

International play

Medal record
Competitor for  Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2009 Canada
Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
Gold 2006 Czech Republic
World U17 Hockey Challenge
Gold 2006 Canada

Esposito competed for Team Quebec as captain during his QMJHL rookie season in the 2006 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, capturing gold. Later that year, he also captained Team Canada's under-18 squad at the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and won another gold medal. After three years of being cut from Team Canada's World Junior Championships selection camp, he eventually made the team for the 2009 World Junior Championships in Ottawa.[5] He scored 4 points in 6 games, including the game winning goal in the gold medal game, helping Team Canada to its record-tying fifth straight gold medal.[6]

Awards

QMJHL

  • Named Player of the Week for September 26–October 2, 2005.
  • Named Rookie of the Month for October and November 2005.
  • Awarded the Michel Bergeron Trophy (offensive rookie of the year) in 2006
  • Named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2006.

Personal life

Born in Montréal, Québec, Esposito grew up figure skating before beginning to play organized hockey at the age of six. At ten-years-old, he made the decision between the two sports to focus on hockey.[7] He attended high school first at Selwyn House School then Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota, following in the footsteps of such NHL stars as Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise and Jonathan Toews.[7]

Despite his last name, famous in hockey circles, Esposito is not related to Hockey Hall of Famers Phil and Tony Esposito. He does, however, have uncles named Phil and Tony,[2] in addition to sharing Phil Esposito's jersey number 7 and February 20 birth date.[7]

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005–06 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 57 39 59 98 45 23 6 5 11 4
2006–07 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 60 27 52 79 63 5 4 3 7 2
2007–08 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 56 30 39 69 69
2007–08 Chicago Wolves AHL 1 0 0 0 0
2008–09 Montreal Junior Hockey Club QMJHL 35 24 18 42 25
QMJHL totals 208 120 168 288 202 28 10 8 18 6

References

External links

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