Sabres select Devante Stephens with 122nd pick

A year after getting sandwiched between two players and suffering a broken leg, Devante Stephens' remarkable turnaround culminated with him being picked by the Sabres with the 122nd pick in the 2015 Draft.

Stephens was passed over in the WHL Bantam Draft but settled into his transition to the blueline (he was a forward until his Bantam year) and things took off from there. Upon joining the Rockets, Stephens was immediately paired with Washington prospect and Team Canada rearguard Madison Bowey. In fact, Stephens' stock didn't really take off until Bowey was away for a month at the World Juniors. He skated the puck more and used his light feet to smartly cover the ice in his own zone, and added to the mix up ice with four goals and 11 total points in 64 contests. He gained valuable Memorial Cup experience with the Rockets en route being named the team's Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player.

Stephens was more of an offensive-minded defenseman prior to entering the WHL, but is constantly showing improvement in his defensive responsibilities. Bowey as his partner has been a big part of that, but it will be on him to continue his ramp as a mobile, two-way defender moving forward. He has an impressive skating game that should see him capture more points as his development continues.
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