Callups, Where Are They Now
Although not perhaps as big a household name as some of the other Where Are They Now candidates, for a few brief shining moments back there in 2007 Angelo Esposito was poised to become the Original Steven Stamkos. Wait, John Tavares. Wait…. well, you get the idea.
Anyhoo, meet Angelo Esposito…again:
Born February 29, 1989, (age 20) in Montreal, Quebec
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
QMJHL: Quebec Remparts, MOntreal Junior Hockey Club
Others in his Draft Year: Patrick Kane, James vanRiemsdyk, Karl Alzner, Sam Gagner, Alexei Cherepanov
WHERE IS HE NOW??
Currently with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.
Angelo Esposito has not had a good history with draft days. In the QMJHL draft where he was considered a potential first choice overall, he told the GMs he intended to play NCAA college hockey and was passed up by the first ten teams. Ultimately, the Quebec Remparts traded furiously with the eleventh team, and came away with Esposito, and ultimately he changed his mind on playing in college and played three seasons for the Remparts.
In the NHL draft, again, he was early considered to be a potential first pick, gathering comparisons to Guy Lafelur, but his points total plummeted and his work ethic came into question, leaving Esposito to be picked twentieth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Without ever touching Penguin ice at the NHL level, and with his point output continuing to fall, in the 2008 trade deadline, Esposito was included with Eric Christensen in the Colby Armstrong/Marion Hossa trade between the Penguins and the Thrashers, giving the Thrash his NHL rights. He continued to play with the Remparts until he tore his right ACL, then came back at the very end of the 2007-2008 season, when he got a single game with the Chicago Wolves, and was then traded in the QMJHL to the Montreal Juniors over the summer. He has so far played 12 games in the 09-10 season for the Wolves, tallying 4 assists before tearing his ACL on 11/28/09, a season ending injury.
Although Esposito was an incredibly highly rated prospect, I have my doubts that he will ever live up to the billing he was initially given. Without staying healthy, he won’t be able to improve on the declining output that seemed to plague him, and stands to get a reputation as an often injured player, never something a coach wants to see on their roster.
And that, folks, is where the Penguins’ first overall 2007 draft pick Angelo Esposito is now.