24-Year-Old Right Wing – Ottawa Senators
Mark Stone Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $10.5 million extension with the Senators in June 2015.
Stone (lower body) will play Saturday versus the Canadiens, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports.
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Mark Stone: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Stone has come to dominate every level he's played at -- from his two 100-point seasons in junior to his 41 points in 37 AHL games two years ago -- so last year's emergence that earned him a Calder Trophy nomination shouldn't have come as a total surprise to the hockey community. But even those who felt optimistic about the former sixth-round pick couldn't have seen last season's stunning 26-goal, 64-point bust out on the horizon, as Stone eventually seized top-line duties at right wing away from Bobby Ryan. After scoring on a very high 16.6 percent of his shots last year, Stone's probably due for a bit of regression in that category, but he's still perched atop the depth chart alongside Kyle Turris, which is a formula for plenty more fantasy productivity as he enters his age-23 campaign. He may not have elite speed, but Stone's got hockey smarts in spades, and that often counts for more.
Stone recorded four goals and four assists in 19 games with the Senators last season, and will likely be a player on the fringe of the NHL roster once again in 2014-15. He put up more than a point-per-game in the AHL last year, so there's a chance he could find his stride in the NHL when he gets an opportunity, but there's no reason to pick him up until he proves he has taken that next step.
Stone racked up 15 goals and 23 assists in 54 games with Binghamton (AHL) last season but failed to earn a single point during four games of NHL play last season. Clearly, the Senators are interested in using him in the future and this could be the year he claims a spot for himself on the big club. If he does consistently get into the lineup, he'll likely play a mostly depth role where he'll have limited fantasy value.
Stone had a breakout year as a junior in 2011-12, leading Canada's U20 World Junior Champtionship team in scoring with seven goals and three assists in six games. Picked in the 6th round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Stone has improved his stock by leaps and bounds, especially his skating which was thought of as well-below average when he was first drafted. He's worked hard on improving his skating over the last few years working with Ottawa's training staff during the offseason. While he's considered a bit of a longshot to make the big club out of training camp this season, he posseses excellent hockey sense, soft hands, and a big body, allowing him to get into open spaces to fire home goals or set up his linemates with nice passes. Stone will either play in the AHL or NHL this year as he's no longer eligible for junior. He'd be an excellent pick in deep keeper leagues and has already played one NHL game, suiting up in Game 5 of the Senators-Rangers opening round playoff series this past spring. In that game, Stone set up Jason Spezza for the game-winning goal with a nice pass between the legs of a Rangers defender, a clear indicator of his skill and vision.
Stone, selected by Ottawa in the 6th round (178th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, turned quite a few heads last season as he potted 37 goals and added 67 assists for the Brandon Wheat Kings. The 6'3", 200-pound power forward has great skills with the puck, but will need to improve his skating, something he's already admitted needs work. Stone will play his last year in the WHL in 2011-12 before making the jump to the pros in 2012-13. He also has a good shot at making Canada's U-20 World Junior Hockey squad this year which bodes well for his future as a pro.