24-Year-Old Defenseman – Arizona Coyotes
Michael Stone Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract with the Coyotes in July of 2013.
Stone had a big game Saturday in a loss to Minnesota. Despite a minus-2 rating, Stone put five shots on net, blocked five shots, and had two hits and three takeaways. He was named the game's second star for his efforts.
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Michael Stone: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Stone won the favor of the coaching staff last season and played in 40 games after just 13 the year before. He tallied nine points, 89 hits and 64 blocked shots to go along with a plus-2 rating, and it isn't unreasonable to expect him to carve out at least a similar role next season.
Stone played in just 13 regular-season games for the Coyotes last year, but he was coach Dave Tippett's go-to choice during the postseason when the Coyotes found themselves thin on the blue line. Stone notched three points during his 13-game stint, but finished with an impressive plus-7 rating. If he doesn't stick on the roster after training camp this season, he'll almost assuredly will be with Phoenix throughout much of the season.
After scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace (69 games, 65 points) in the WHL, Stone saw his production drop dramatically in the AHL. The blueliner, who saw time in 70 games for the Rampage, tallied two goals and 11 assists with a minus-5 rating. What should have been an offseason where a strong training camp could have led to a potential roster berth has turned into what is almost assuredly another season in the AHL for Stone.
Stone might be the defenseman people know little about. In 2009-10 with the Hitmen he collected 65 points during the regular season; 21 of those points were goals and 15 of those goals were on the power play, which is one of the main reasons why Stone is getting a look. Even though he had success in the fishbowl of Calgary, the transition to junior level hockey to the NHL can quite steep. Therefore for 2010-11, Stone's destination will most likely be in San Antonio. He is already high on the depth chart for the Coyotes' prospects for defense, only behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Maxim Goncharov. The next step for him is staying there.