That's what Chris Stewart the Av's number 1 pick in this weekends draft makes me think me of. A hard hitting winger that can put a serious hurt on opposing players, seperating them from pucks and creating scoring opportunities. The kid even played linebacker for a year that he took off from hockey recently. He even looks like Ray a bit if you ask me. His potential as a power forward will be very, very intersting and exciting to watch.
I think it's a great pick.
Stewart, 18, had 37 goals, 50 assists and 113 penalty minutes in 62 games for the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League this season. Stewart, who is from Toronto, was rated the eighth best North American skater by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau and the 14th best player available by The Hockey News[...]A power forward... with speed. Now there's a winning combination for the Av's in the new NHL style of play.
Stewart, whose brother Anthony played in 10 games with the Florida Panthers this season, is a hard-hitting power forward who lists Detroit's Brendan Shanahan as his favorite player.
"He has that great combination of size, very good strength and skill," Avalanche chief scout Jim Hammett said of Stewart.
"We had him very high on our list. You don't find a player that can skate like this, combined with the raw power that he has with his offensive upside."
Hammett said that Stewart could play in the NHL "right now from a physical standpoint," but would return to his junior team for a couple more years of seasoning.
Stewart played football two years ago and is built like a linebacker, so he needs to redistribute his weight and lose a few pounds to increase his speed.
"His speed is already outstanding," Hammett said.