The 23-year old striker joined the Black Cats from AZ Alkmaar earlier this summer, commanding a fee of £5.2million, having found the net 23 times in the Eredivisie last season.
Altidore struggled in his previous Premier League spell, only scoring once whilst on loan during Hull City's 2009/10 campaign, but Di Canio has no doubts that the USA international will prove his worth.
"I don't hope he will be a success here, I know he will," he told the Daily Star.
"He will score many goals for us. I can't give you a number but it will be 15 or more if he uses the energy he did for the national team. He is an animal.
"He did not have a fantastic experience at Hull but he was young and they struggled. He left, went around Europe and grew up and last year finished with a very good goals tally."
Altidore spent two years in Holland since joining from Villarreal and Di Canio believes that he can be a valuable asset at any level.
"It was a different league but you do not score that many goals if you are not quality. Jozy is a modern footballer who has desire and pride and this environment will help him," he said.
"He attacks every space, his first touch is good and he is a fantastic finisher. We will play good football to help him score, so he is going to have a big part to play in our season."