The Tampa Bay Lightning drafted OHL forward Mitchell Stephens with the 33rd overall draft selection at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft – and now, they’ve brought him into their system with a three year entry-level deal.
Mitchell Stephens signed his ELS contract with #lightning 3 years / $840,000 (2 way)
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) April 5, 2016
Stephens is coming off his third season as a member of the Saginaw Spirit, during which he recorded 20 goals and 38 points in 39 games during the regular season and three points in four post-season appearances. That was solid production for the forward, especially after missing a large chunk of the first half of his 2015-16 season with a broken foot – and now that his post-season run is over with Saginaw following a sweep by the Erie Otters, he’ll be available to join the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch to help them finish out their own spring campaign.
Standing at 6 feet even and 195 lbs, Stephens will hopefully add to Tampa Bay’s centre depth at the prospect level, which should help their AHL affiliate see a turnaround after a less-than-ideal season this year.
He went from just 48 points in 62 OHL games during his draft-eligible season to nearly a point per game this year, which is promising for the Lightning – now, they just need to see how his skill set translates to the pro level. He can join the Crunch as soon as their next game, which will take place Friday against the Albany Devils.