Photo credit: Keith Hershmiller/Regina Pats
The Capitals have signed forward Chandler Stephenson to an entry-level contract. According to a report by the Regina Leader-Post, the three-year contract is worth $925,000 per season, the maximum an NHL rookie can get.
Stephenson was originally considered a left winger, but he impressed at center for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League and for the Caps during last preseason. After missing time due to injury in the 2012-13 season, Stephenson had a huge breakout this year with 30 goals and 59 assists in 69 games, leading his team and finishing 14th in the league in points (89). He played in all situations for the Pats, logging a lot of ice time especially late in games.
Stephenson is a pass-first player, but he also has a pretty good shot. His main assets though are his vision and hockey IQ, which he uses to make plays in both ends of the ice.
This passing play, finished off by Stephenson’s one-timer, was so dazzling the cameraman lost the puck.
Stephenson’s shootout goal is at the 0:20 mark.
Nifty curl-and-drag and a shot top-shelf.
Despite a relative small stature (6-foot-0, 199 pounds), Stephenson isn’t soft at all; he can take a hit and often goes to the high-density areas to create offense. His future will, for a large part, depend on his transition to pro hockey, but he could develop into a solid two-way third-line forward in the NHL.
ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have signed center Chandler Stephenson to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning the 2014-15 season, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Stephenson, 19, was drafted by the Capitals in the third round, 77th overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and spent the last four seasons with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Stephenson registered a career-high 89 points (30 goals, 59 assists) in 69 games with the Pats this season and ranked tied for sixth in the WHL in assists, 14th in points and first in the league in shorthanded goals (8).
Stephenson compiled 45 points (14 goals, 31 assists) in 46 games with Regina in 2012-13, ranking third among Pats skaters in points and assists and fourth on the team in goals. In 2011-12, Stephenson recorded 42 points (22 goals, 20 assists) in 55 games with the Pats. The 6’0”, 199-pound center finished the season ranked third on the team in goals, fourth in points and participated in the 2012 CHL Top Prospects Game. As a rookie in 2010-11, Stephenson tallied 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 60 games. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native has recorded 195 points (73 goals, 122 assists) in 230 career WHL games.
Stephenson will report to the Hershey Bears (AHL) tomorrow on a tryout agreement. Stephenson is the third member of the Capitals’ 2012 NHL Draft class to sign with the team, joining Connor Carrick and Tom Wilson.