For Caps prospect Chandler Stephenson, it’s easy to be overlooked. The Capitals made two selections in the first round before selecting him, so Stephenson may not be on every Caps fans’ radar. But the third round pick can play. He was the fifth overall pick by Regina in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, he was invited to Canada’s Under-18 2011 selection camp with Tom Wilson, and he was Regina’s fourth best scorer last season. For those who went to Development Camp, you’ll recall Stephenson dropped the mitts with Max Iafrate after a few questionable hits by the latter.
On Friday night, Stephenson scored his first goal of the WHL regular season, and it was a big one. With 15.4 seconds left in the regulation against the Red Deer Rebels, the Saskatoon-born forward was first to a rebound and put the puck past the Rebels’ goalie Bolton Pouliot. It would stand up as the game-winner.
Video is below. (Warning: homers yelling.)
Mitchell at Caps Development Camp over the summer (Photo credit: BridgetDS).
The Capitals have some great middleweight, gritty forwards. Guys like Matt Hendricks and Matt Bradley. Steve Pinizzotto is also down on the farm in Hershey. Now you can add one more name to that list: Garrett Mitchell.
The Capitals announced today that they signed the free agent right wing to a three-year entry-level contract beginning next season. The 19-year old Mitchell became the latest player from the 2009 Draft to be signed by the Caps. Previously, Marcus Johansson (1st round, 24th overall), Dmitri Orlov (2nd round, 55th overall), Cody Eakin (3rd round, 85th overall) and Brett Flemming (5th round, 145th overall) all elected to sign their entry-level deals. That leaves only Boston College defenseman Patrick Wey (4th round, 115th overall) — a member of Team USA in the 2011 WJC — and Benjamin Casavant (7th round, 205th overall) without contracts. Suffice to say, a very bountiful and productive draft class for General Manager George McPhee.
Mitchell, picked 175th overall in 2009 Entry Draft, would seem to project as a future third or fourth line player in the NHL if he develops fully. According to the HF page about Mitchell, his upside (besides the physical aspects) are leadership, penalty killing and skating.
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