According to an Ottawa Senators press release, the team has signed 19-year old forward Mark Stone to an entry-level contract. Renaud Lavoie (@renhockey) is reporting that it’s a 3-year, two-way deal that totals $1.65M with a $270k signing bonus.
Last season Stone tore it up with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings finishing third in league scoring with 37 goals, 69 assists and 106 points. This strong play earn him an invite to the Canadian national junior team development camp where he continued to shine – registering 4 goals and 4 assists in two intrasquad games.
When Stone finally scored the game winning goal in the rookie tournament’s final game, his legacy was cemented as a prospect to keep an eye on. Just ask AJ Jakubec.
The Team 1200’s radio host (@AJonSports) had some pretty enthusiastic tweets…
Mark Stone signs entry level deal with the. 3rd leading scorer in WHL last year as an 18 year old with 106 pts.
Stone had a great World Jr Development Camp with Team Canada and has a good shot to make the team in December.
Also played well in the Rookie Tourney, scoring the OT winner vs the Leafs. Playing with Michalek and Zibanejad tonight. A steal in the 6th.
A steal in the 6th?
Easy on the verbal fellatio AJ. Stone hasn’t even played in the NHL, let alone demonstrate that he can even be a productive NHL player. Right now, he’s just another Mike Hoffman-like player.
For the 2009-10 season, he was only: the QJMHL MVP; the QJMHL ‘Sportsman of the Year'; and a finalist for the CHL ‘Player of the Year. Today he’s the lynchpin that played alongside Zenon Konopka and Francis Lessard on Ottawa’s fourth line during last night’s exhibition game against the Leafs.
Not that I’m trying to quell any enthusiasm towards Stone or Hoffman. Both could wind up being decent players down the road or they might not. My point is that each season, some prospect does something to warrant attention and with each successive season, there’s always some shiny new prospect to distract us.
Conversely, there’s a similar phenomenon going on at the other end of the spectrum with Patrick Wiercioch. You simply can’t get too high or too low on these prospects.
In an article for the Ottawa Citizen, Allen Panzeri had this nails quote from Assistant GM Tim Murray that explains some of this mindset.
“What that does, though, is that you’re expecting a lot early, so, when you see a bad shift, you get mad. You just have to realize it’s early and it’s a long process to get to October, but they’re going to play tons of minutes in exhibition games.”
Not every prospect’s development curve is as linear as fans may want. As we’ve seen in the past with players like Brian Lee or Jakub Klepis, you can’t just look at the organization’s prospects and assume that everyone will make it or pan out to best of their abilities. Prognosticators and pundits seem to like the depth and talent that they see in Ottawa’s system, but some of these players may not work out. In a system that once was bereft of (m)any, the system hopefully has the depth to overcome such an obstacle. No longer will it be hamstrung as it has been in the past when Ilya Zubov, Alexander Nikulin or Brandon Bochenski don’t live up to standards.