The Detroit Red Wings have acquired center Mitchell Stephens from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 6th-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft.
Stephens 24, originally was drafted by Steve Yzerman’s Lightning in 2015 -- 33rd overall in the 2nd round. He had a very good first year in the AHL in 2017-18 when he scored 19 goals and 22 assists for the Syracuse Crunch.
He was called up to the Lightning in 2019-20, appearing in 38 games that season (3 goals, 3 assists) and seven playoff games (1 goal) as part of Tampa’s first of back-to-back Stanley Cup championship squads.
He played just seven games with the Lightning this past year, spending a large portion of the season injured. He returned at the end of the season with the Crunch.
With the departure of Luke Glendening, Stephens is ostensibly stepping in to fill the role of 4th-line center and penalty killer. Stephens boasts a 53% conversion at the faceoff dot in his career (45 games). It’s a small sample size, but still impressive.
Stephens is under contract through 2021-22.