The Anaheim Ducks could have Clayton Stoner in the lineup for Game 7 of their first-round series against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday as the defenseman was deemed “available” by coach Bruce Boudreau after sitting out the first six contests with an upper-body injury he suffered in the regular-season finale.
The winner of Wednesday’s showdown in Anaheim will face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinals.
Stoner likely would replace rookie Shea Theodore, who has posted a minus-1 rating while averaging 14 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time in the series. The 20-year-old Theodore, who was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2013 draft, recorded three goals and five assists in 19 games this season – his first in the NHL.
The 31-year-old Stoner has appeared in two Game 7s in his career, playing for the Ducks in the conference final against the Chicago Blackhawks last postseason while skating with the Minnesota Wild against the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2014 playoffs. He registered a goal and five assists in 50 games for Anaheim during the 2015-16 regular season.
A third-round pick of the Wild in 2004, Stoner made his NHL debut in 2009-10, notching two assists in eight games. He posted a career-high 10 points – all assists – while playing in all 48 contests during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign
and spent one more season in Minnesota before signing a four-year, $13 million contract with the Ducks on July 1, 2014.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound Stoner, who is a native of Port McNeill, British Columbia, has collected six goals and 39 assists in 346 regular-season games with the Wild and Ducks. He also has recorded two tallies and five points in 30 playoff contests with Minnesota and Anaheim.