On Wednesday, the Buffalo Sabres announced that they signed defenseman Devante Stephens to a three-year entry level contract.
Stephen was selected in the 5th round (122 overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
A couple of scouting reports courtesy of Hockey’s Future:
Stephens is a two-way defenseman who possess very strong skating ability. During the 2014-15 season he emerged as one of the Kelowna Rockets’ best defenseman despite going undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft. He plays much bigger than his 6’1 frame suggests, though he does need to add muscle. He shows good instincts, is not afraid to engage physically, displayed tons of poise under pressure and moves the puck quite well. He is raw, but there is certainly a ton of upside, and under the tutelage of the coaching staff in Kelowna, which has been known to produce superb defensemen, could become a top-four defenseman one day.
Stephens attended his first training camp with the Sabres before returning to Kelowna for his second season with the defending WHL champions. A steady presence in the lineup who has skated in every game for the Rockets in 2015-16, Stephens has been overshadowed by some of the puck movers in Kelowna. His skating ability and willingness to play a physical game are his calling cards and he projects as a sound middle pairing defense-first defenseman.