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Draft Pick Profile: Stewart

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Coyotes added five prospects to the mix at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, N.Y. Follow along as ArizonaCoyotes.com profiles all five draft picks.

Dean Stewart. Photo by Heather Jordan.

DEAN STEWART

Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6-2/179
Position: Defenseman
Hometown: Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
Round: 7 (188th overall)
2015-16 team: Portage (MJHL)

The Skinny:

Stewart, a right-handed defenseman, averaged a point per game in 13 playoff games to help lead Portage to a second consecutive Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship. He has committed to the University of Nebraska - Omaha for the 2016-17 season.

The Stats:

• Stewart notched 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 42 games playing for Portage in 2015-16.

• Stewart notched six points (one goal, five assists) in 33 games playing for Portage in 2014-15.

The Quotes:

Dean Stewart. Photo by Heather Jordan.

"Getting drafted is pretty surreal. Obviously, being on Central Scouting you know there's a possibility that you are going to get drafted but when it actually happened it was great. I never imagined how excited I would be. I’ve never had a feeling that good in my life." -- Dean Stewart

"I try to be a good two-way defenseman. Today everyone says that if you want to be a real good defenseman you’ve got to be good in the offensive zone. I definitely work on that, but my main focus is shutting down the other team’s top lines and keeping the puck out of our net.” -- Dean Stewart

"Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty are guys who I enjoy watching and try to model my game after because they’re very solid in every aspect of the game." -- Dean Stewart

"My main focus right now is to fill out and get stronger; those battles in the corner, I want to make sure I can win pretty much all of those. My ultimate goal is to be a key defenseman for the Arizona Coyotes." -- Dean Stewart

"Dean is a player that improved as the year went along. He worked his way up the lineup, and in the playoffs he was playing heavy minutes, in all situations, and was heavily relied on by his team. He is an athletic kid, who skates very well, and brings a good degree of compete to his game. He is engaged and competitive. In the playoffs, he was asserting himself, and generated some decent offense from the blue line. He's still a young player with some growth, and strength potential." -- Coyotes Amateur Scout Glen Zacharias

The Fun Facts:

• Stewart competed in many sports growing up including basketball, baseball, badminton, track and field, cross country, golf and volleyball.

Shane Doan and Dean Stewart
• Upon learning he had been drafted by the Coyotes, Stewart tweeted a photo of himself and Coyotes captain Shane Doan taken when Stewart was nine years old. Regarding the photo, Stewart said his family was vacationing in the Phoenix area during hockey season, and one day they decided to attend a Coyotes practice. After the practice, Stewart called out to Doan as he was leaving the ice through the tunnel and Doan stopped to chat with him. Stewart told Doan his family was from Manitoba and then asked Doan to sign his Coyotes jersey, and Doan obliged. But the experience didn't end there. Doan then invited Stewart, his sister Jessica and their parents into the team's dressing room for a tour.

"We were absolutely stunned by how nice Shane was," Stewart said. "He's an NHL star and we couldn't believe that he took the time to visit with us out of the blue like that. It was pretty cool."

Before they left, Doan gave Stewart a stick, although it wasn't one of Doan's sticks because Doan was running low on sticks that day. Instead, it was a stick provided by Coyotes defenseman Nick Boynton.

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