Season Review – Heading into the season, it was thought that Mark Stone would be in the mix for a regular turn in the Ottawa Senators lineup. Well it didn’t quite work out that way, and Stone played a majority of the season in Binghamton, When the dust settled on the Bingo season, Stone was at the top of the list in terms of scoring. He recorded 15 goals and added 23 assists in 54 games, and added a +21 rating. He was sidelined for a few weeks with a hand injury that delayed his summons to Ottawa. When he did finally get healthy, he made his season debut in an Ottawa uniform and had a four game audition. He didn’t overwhelm in that stint, going pointless with just 3 shots on goal averaging 10 minutes per night. Not exactly the impact the Senators and their fans were hoping for from the first year pro.
Playoffs – After the short Binghamton post-season (being swept in 3 games to the Penguins), Stone joined the Black Aces and actually got into game 4 of the second round series against the Penguins as the Senators were searching for an offensive answer. He didn’t get a point in his lone playoff appearance earlier, unable to work the same magic he did in last year’s abbreviated playoff appearance. He eventually left the game with an injury and did not play in game 5.
Contract Status – Stone has 2 years left on his 3 year entry level deal, carrying a cap hit of just over $873K.
Importance To Franchise – There is hope that Stone can develop into a goal-scoring winger who fits into the top 6. He has good offensive instinct and good hands, so it is not out of the question that he could become a 25-30 goal scorer on a consistent basis.
Needs to Improve – The knock on Stone has always been, and probably always will be, skating. He struggles to keep up in an up and down game, limiting his effectiveness. It has come leaps and bounds from when he was drafted, but there is still a ways to go before he could be considered much more than a power play weapon.
Grade – D. Even in the short audition, he didn’t show that he belonged in the NHL yet. Even though he led the B-Sens in scoring, it wasn’t exactly the level of production you would expect from a top level prospect that had NHL hopes this season.