Rockets’ defenceman Stephens signs entry-level contract with Sabres

Marissa Baecker


The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenceman Devante Stephens of the Kelowna Rockets to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The team announced the signing Wednesday afternoon.

Stephens, a 20-year-old product of Surrey, B.C., was selected by the Sabres in the fifth round (122nd) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Having recently completed his third WHL regular season, the 6-foot-2, 176-pound  blueliner registered career highs in all major offensive categories, including 13 goals, 22 assists, 35 points and a plus-27 rating through 67 contests. Through 14 post-season outings this spring, he has tallied seven assists and a minus-1 rating as the Rockets trail the Seattle Thunderbirds by a 2-1 margin in their best-of-seven Western Conference Championship series.

Stephens, who was not selected in the WHL Bantam Draft, has skated in 203 career WHL regular season contests, registering 57 points (19G-38A), a plus-56 rating and 166 penalty minutes since joining the Rockets in 2014-15. He has also dressed in 49 career WHL playoff games, tally 12 assists and a plus-4 rating, while serving as a member of the 2015 WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets.

Stephens and the Rockets suit up for Game 4 of the WHL’s Western Conference Championship series Wednesday night (7:05 p.m. PT) as they host the Thunderbirds.

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