Chandler Stephenson: Under the Radar Rookie

920x920Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

In a postseason that has been filled with adversity, drama, and thrill for the Capitals, players like captain Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Braden Holtby have been pegged as having an impact on the team’s first round series win against the Columbus Blue Jackets and in the team’s current series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, other less flashy players have also been key contributors in what has been a solid postseason performance thus far. One such player is forward Chandler Stephenson.

Despite averaging only 16:49 of ice time a night for Head Coach Barry Trotz, Stephenson has scored once and added three assists for four points in eight games played, with a plus-1 rating. In his first Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Caps, Stephenson has performed exceptionally well for a Capitals team that has lacked secondary scoring and depth in its past few postseason runs. While his 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 67 regular season games played isn’t spectacular, Stephenson has been used in numerous defensive situations this season, and that has continued in the playoffs.

In the aforementioned eight playoff games, Stephenson has won 45.5% of his faceoff draws and 50% of them while playing on the penalty kill. When Stephenson has been on the ice for the penalty kill, the Capitals have allowed just three power play goals. Stephenson has also excelled at even-strength, winning 58.3% of his faceoffs taken and offensively has generated some quality scoring chances, with 59.3% of his shots getting through to the net. Stephenson’s first playoff goal came on a shorthanded breakaway against the Blue Jackets, and in the team’s eight playoff games, has averaged 1.5 points per 60 minutes played, and the Caps’ netminders have recorded a .945 save percentage when Stephenson is on the ice.

A former third-round pick of the Capitals (77th overall in 2012), Stephenson has proven himself to be one of the Caps’ most trustworthy penalty killers and strongest defensive forwards. Having just turned 24-years old, Stephenson still has room to grow his game, both defensively and offensively. Given his strong showing in the postseason thus far, the future for Stephenson seems to be a promising one.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
This entry was posted in News, NHL, Offense, Players, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Chandler Stephenson: Under the Radar Rookie

  1. Anonymous says:

    He is fast but not sure he is a 2nd liner.. replaces Beagle next year?

    • I don’t think anyone can replace Beags. His faceoff percentage is outrageous and his blue-collar work on the boards and PK is invaluable. I think if it comes down to keeping Carlson or Beagle and Wilson in the offseason GMBM will keep Beags.

  2. Pingback: Young Guns 2.0 and New Faces have Helped Create History for the Capitals | NoVa Caps

  3. Pingback: Young Guns 2.0 and New Faces have Helped Create History for the Capitals | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: Capitals Announce 2018 Rookie Showcase Roster and Schedule | NoVa Caps

Leave a Reply