Monday, May 9, 2016

Anthony DeLuca: Two Autographed Cards

Anthony DeLuca is exactly the type of player lower-level leagues chew up and spit out on a yearly basis. He played three seasons for the Rimouski Océanic in the LHJMQ, improving his regular-season points totals from 40 (on 22 goals) to 78 (35 goals) to 91 (44 goals) and was a point-per-game player in the postseason for his final two seasons as well, but remained undrafted because he's small at 5'9", though bulky at 205 pounds.

Last summer, his rights in the "Q" were traded to the Drummondville Voltigeurs, but he wanted to try his trade in the ECHL, playing 46 games with the Alaska Aces (and obtaining 20 points in the process); the Voltigeurs had told him they'd kept a roster spot open for him in case he didn't like his professional experience, and around the Holiday break, he signified his intention of returning home... but Drummondville reneged on their promise.

He ended up playing another 16 games in the ECHL, with the Wichita Thunder, with a single goal and 6 points to show for it as he felt homesick and betrayed.

I met him last summer, a 20-year-old who'd been told time and time again that his efforts would be rewarded, that he was good enough to make it, that he was one-of-a-kind, that hockey was his calling...

I saw him suit up against grown men, NHLers and AHLers alike, for unofficial shinny games, and he looked like a kid who knows how to play the game; who, given time, could compete with them. But I did not think he was AHL-ready. And the "A" is a good league, he might never reach that level and might need to consider playing in the LNAH for most of his thirties.

Still, he signed two copies of this card, #41 in In The Game's 2012-13 Heroes And Prospects collection (and CHL Rookie sub-set) in blue sharpie:
It features him in the Océanic's white (home) uniform.

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