With the season underway fans are finally getting the chance to see the players on the ice doing what they do best. Still though, some of the guys might be unfamiliar to fans, so we want to continue our Meet the Heat segment and keep putting names to faces for you, the fans.
For today’s installment, we introduce a name that might sound familiar to Stockton for all the wrong reasons to fans, defenseman Dustin Stevenson.
Stevenson is a 26-year-old veteran of over 250 regular season ECHL games and 41 ECHL playoff games, 22 of which came in the 2013 playoffs with the Reading Royals.
While some of you may have just cringed at the thought of the 2013 Kelly Cup playoffs when the Stockton Thunder were eliminated in the finals by the Reading Royals at Stockton Arena, Stevenson likely has happier thoughts of that night when he lifted the Kelly Cup with his teammates.
However, now Stevenson calls Stockton Arena home and has been an integral piece on the blueline for the Stockton Heat all season long.
The 6’3”, 215-lb defenseman made his AHL debut the season after taking home the ECHL’s biggest prize when he appeared in seven games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
His first full season in the AHL came last year when he spent the entire season with the Adirondack Flames.
Stevenson’s 94 penalty minutes in 45 games was good for third on the team and the most among defensemen on the roster.
So far this season, Stevenson is one of six players that have dressed in all eight games for the Heat and, according to Head Coach Ryan Huska, has been one of the most consistent and physical blueliners the team has had this season.
Through eight games, Stevenson has yet to score a point, but does have 15 shots on net and 9 penalty minutes, both of which lead all current Heat defensemen.
Stevenson is a great example of how guys can develop into high-quality AHL players after spending a few seasons honing their craft in the ECHL.
Read the other Meet the Heat’s:
Jon Gillies – Goaltender
Hunter Smith – Forward
Bill Arnold – Forward
Brett Kulak – Defenseman
Morgan Klimchuk – Forward
Kenny Agostino – Forward
Oliver Kylington – Defenseman
Austin Carroll – Forward
Ryan Lomberg – Forward
Colton Orr – Forward
Tyler Wotherspoon – Defenseman
Jakub Nakladal – Defenseman
Markus Granlund – Forward
Aaron Johnson – Defenseman
Garnet Hathaway – Forward