Dean Stewart

Aaron Vickers

Stewart is a mobile and athletic defenseman who can make a strong first pass. He plays a steady two-way game and is a smart puck-possession player who stabilizes the play in his own end before making his mark on the attack. He adapts quickly to the pace and style of any game. He can be offensive contributor with his willingness to jump up into plays and deliver shrewd passes to his teammates. Stewart uses his big shot to hammer pucks through the net and really likes to tee it up for the one-timer high in the zone. He has a big frame and changes his handle of the puck to keep it guarded as he is carrying the play. His skating agility is pretty good and has some elusiveness that allows him to avoid physicality on the forecheck. Stewart has good edges and a nice stride, and battles hard in front of the net, managing to box out effectively. Defensively, he is very attentive and covers his bases. He gets his stick involved in every play and will use his body to stand up his man if he sees a chance to close the gap. Stewart plays with very little risk in his own end and often makes your standard, simple play to chip the puck out or create an exit route from the defensive zone. Though he could be a little more physical and use his size to his advantage, he tends to prefer smothering the play with mobility. Stewart plays in all situations and sees special teams time. He is committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for the 2017-18 season so there is plenty of development time left here. This is one of your sleeper picks of the draft.  (May 2016)