Devante Stephens

Aaron Vickers

A raw, lanky defenseman who skates well. Has a wide skating stride and lengthens it out to get himself up to a pretty good speed. He lacks explosiveness right now on his first few steps but has strong lateral movements and solid transitions, which help him retrieve loose pucks. He is willing to take the hit to make the play and tries to play a physical game himself, but currently lacks the strength to be truly intimidate opponents. Likes to rush the puck and makes a solid first pass. Has the hands to protect it but can get knocked off it due to his weak legs. He can look like two different players at times as one game he seems to lack confidence with the puck–almost looks like a deer in the headlights handling it–and the next looks like a dangerous puck rusher. Uses his stick and frame to defend. Can get caught running around his own zone a little bit too much. He has the tools to be a more dynamic defenseman with his feet and puck skills, but has a few weaknesses along with consistency issues that currently hold him back. Loves to play a physical game and even tries to lower the boom on streaking wingers coming across with their head down, but with his slender build, he desperately needs more weight to throw around to be effective in doing so at the next level. We like his raw tools, as a pretty good puck distributer and a physical defender, but he has some distance to go before he realizes his ultimate potential. (May 2015)