Drafted by the Capitals in the third-round (77th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Stephenson has played the past two seasons with the Hershey Bears. In 56 total games played, Stephenson has put up eight goals, seven assists, and 15 points. At 5’11”, Stephenson is on the smaller side for a hockey player. Prior to joining the Bears, Stephenson played four years with the Regina Pats of the WHL. In 230 games played with Regina, Stephenson posted 73 goals, 122 assists, and 195 points.
Stephenson won’t wow fans with highlight-reel goals or no-look passes. Instead, the 21-year old forward uses his hockey sense and a solid two-way game to get the puck in the net. As the Caps’ third selection in his draft year, he did not sign his entry-level contract with the Caps until after his 30-goal season. While Stephenson will likely never be a full-time NHLer, he could be a potential call-up. Under former bench boss Adam Oates, Stephenson played in his first NHL game in 2013-14.
The center/left wing’s downfall could be his size. Unlike fellow little guy, the recently-retired Martin St. Louis, Stephenson isn’t a point-producer or speedster. While comparing him to a future Hall of Famer may be abut much, it is mainly to show lack of size, and lack if production don’t mix well together.
According to Hockey’s Future, Stephenson has the potential to be an offensive threat and a two-way player; but lacks the size needed to become a full-time NHLer. It also projects Stephenson to be a career-long AHL player, or to play in Europe where he would have a larger rink to work with. HF also believes that if Stephenson can overcome his size deficiency, he could be very effective as a bottom-six forward. All-in-All, Stephenson may not ever fully evolve into a true NHL player.