Devante Stephens

Hometown:

White Rock British Columbia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1997-01-02

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

5th round (122nd overall), 2015

Weight:

174 lbs.

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History

2012-13: Devante Stephens played midget minor hockey for Semiahmoo in British Columbia.

2013-14: Stephens attended training camp with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets before joining the Valley West Hawks midget AAA team in British Columbia. He played 22 games for the Hawks, missing most of the season with a broken leg. Stephens scored 6 goals with 14 assists and 32 penalty minutes with Valley West.

2014-15: Stephens skated in 64 of 72 regular season games for WHL champion Kelowna in his first season of major junior hockey. He scored 4 goals with 7 assists and was +17 with 33 penalty minutes. The Rockets finished first in the B.C. Division with the league’s second-best record and defeated Eastern Conference champion Brandon in the WHL Finals. Stephens had 4 assists and was +4 with 8 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. Kelowna reached the championship game in the Memorial Cup, falling 2-1 to OHL champion Oshawa in overtime. Stephens was +2 with no points nor penalties in five Memorial Cup games. He was ranked 116th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Buffalo in the fifth round (122nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Stephens is a two-way defenseman who possess very strong skating ability. During the 2014-15 season he emerged as one of the Kelowna Rockets’ best defenseman despite going undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft. He plays much bigger than his 6’1 frame suggests, though he does need to add muscle. He shows good instincts, is not afraid to engage physically, displayed tons of poise under pressure and moves the puck quite well. He is raw, but there is certainly a ton of upside, and under the tutelage of the coaching staff in Kelowna, which has been known to produce superb defensemen, could become a top-four defenseman one day.

Future

Stephens attended his first training camp with the Sabres before returning to Kelowna for his second season with the defending WHL champions. A steady presence in the lineup who has skated in every game for the Rockets in 2015-16, Stephens has been overshadowed by some of the puck movers in Kelowna. His skating ability and willingness to play a physical game are his calling cards and he projects as a sound middle pairing defense-first defenseman.

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