2008-09: Anthony Bitetto joined the USHL’s Indiana Ice in mid-season after skating for the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s New York Apple Core the first half of the year. He was plus-seven with 1 goal and 3 assists in 24 regular season games for the Ice. After finishing third in the East, Indiana captured the USHL’s Clark Cup playoff title. Bitetto was plus-five with 3 assists and 6 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games. He committed to playing college hockey at Northeastern in 2010-11.
2009-10: Bitetto played a second season in the USHL with the Indiana Ice. He scored 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points along with 99 penalty minutes in 58 games. He added 2 goals, 2 assists, and 19 penalty minutes in 9 playoff games. Not among the 210 North American skaters listed in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by Nashville in the sixth round (168th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
2010-11: Bitetto skated in all 38 games for Northeastern University as a freshman and was the leading scorer amongst the team’s defensemen. Bitetto scored 3 goals with 17 assists and was minus-two with 66 penalty minutes. Northeastern finished sixth in Hockey East and was under .500 despite winning three of five games from highly-regarded Boston University late in the season. The Huskies lost a tough one-goal game to defending national champion Boston College in the Hockey East semifinals.
2011-12: Bitetto made his pro debut – appearing in one playoff game with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals – following his sophomore season at Northeastern. He had no points nor penalty minutes for the Admirals. Bitetto was the leading scorer amongst defensemen on a Northeastern team that finished ninth out of ten teams in Hockey East. He scored 4 goals with 11 assists and was plus-three with 34 penalty minutes. Bitetto signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Predators in March, 2012 – foregoing his final two years of college hockey.
2012-13: Bitetto split his first pro season between Nashville’s AHL and ECHL affiliates Milwaukee and Cincinnati. After appearing in just five AHL games with the Admirals at the start of the year due to the presence of Ryan Ellis and Jonathan Blum during the NHL lockout, he was sent to Cincinnati and returned to Milwaukee when the lockout ended. In 34 AHL games he scored 1 goal with 5 assists and was -1 with 35 penalty minutes. The Admirals finished second in the Midwest Division and lost to Texas in a first round playoff series but Bitetto did not play in the series. In 23 ECHL games with the Cyclones he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -5 with 16 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Bitetto was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for Nashville AHL affiliate Milwaukee in his second pro season. He scored 11 goals with 25 assists and was minus-13 with 85 penalty minutes. The Admirals were swept by the Toronto Marlies in the first round of the AHL playoffs. Bitetto was minus-three with no points and eight penalty minutes in three playoff games. He was tendered a qualifying offer by Nashville in June and signed a one-year contract as a restricted free agent.
Bitetto showed improvement in his second pro season — displaying offensive elements to go along with his booming shot and assuming a full-time role at the AHL level. He is a strong, physical player with good size, who finishes his checks but can struggle against skilled forwards and is inconsistent at times defensively.
Bitetto will head to camp with the Predators in 2014-15 after receiving a one-year contract in July but at this point is a long shot to open the season in Nashville. Realistically, he will return to Milwaukee and be counted on as one of the Admirals' top defensemen. He showed the ability to be an effective offensive defenseman at the AHL level and with improved consistency can one day be a lower pairing NHL defenseman capable of contributing on the power play.