The New York Islanders announced this morning that they have signed Northeastern forward John Stevens to a two-year, entry level contract. Stevens was a senior captain for the 2016-17 Huskies and is a candidate for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award. Stevens is eligible to play for the Islanders immediately, but is expected to be assigned to the AHL, where he will make his professional debut as a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Over the past four seasons, John Stevens led one of the greatest classes in the history of Northeastern Hockey. He finished his career with 26 goals and 108 points while scoring more than 20 points in every season of his career as a Husky. A mainstay on the ice in even strength, power play, and shorthanded situations, Stevens was the face of Husky hockey. His best season on Huntington Ave came as a junior, where, as an assistant captain, Stevens earned a place on the Huskies’ first line, scored 35 points, and led the Huskies to a Hockey East Championship with an assist on the game-winning goal to bring Northeastern their first championship since 1988. In his senior campaign, despite battling an injury that affected him for over four months and cost him a large portion of his season, Stevens continued to improve, averaging over a point per game for the first time in his career, topping 100 career points, and leading Northeastern at the faceoff dot.
John Stevens was named Northeastern’s team captain for his senior season, a reflection of the excellence the Sea Isle City, NJ native represented both on and off the ice. In addition to his accomplishments as a hockey player, Stevens was the model of what a student-athlete should be as a student and as a person. He was a two-time member of the Hockey East Academic Team, a recipient of the Huntington 100 for his work in the classroom and with the Northeastern community, and is nominated for the Senior CLASS Award, where you can vote for him here.
Northeastern Head Coach Jim Madigan praised Stevens on GoNU, stating
“John has been the epitome of leadership and what a captain is all about here at Northeastern. He has done all the right things on and off the ice for four years, and has been recognized in many ways from academic success to community and athletic success. We’re going to miss John Stevens, but we’re all excited to watch his success in the future and know that he’ll continue to be that fine young man and hockey player throughout his hockey career.”
Stevens returned the favor, thanking his coaches and the rest of the Huskies.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Northeastern for preparing me to take the next step in my hockey career, especially Coach Madigan, Keefe, Smith and McLaughlin. I’m proud to say that I was part of the team that brought the Hockey East championship back to Northeastern last year, and I look forward to following the program as an alumnus in the future. A foundation of success has been established here, and I’m confident that the returning players will continue to take our program to new heights.”
John Stevens is a cerebral player whose ability to think and understand the game of hockey will provide opportunities for him at the next level. While he isn’t going to have the shot or the speed to stick in the NHL as a top line forward, Stevens is a coaches dream as a player who will do everything right, perform in any situation, and lead the rest of the team with him while chipping in some points and keeping the puck moving forward along the way. Stevens could very well be a mainstay on the Islanders’ NHL roster for years to come. On behalf of my fellow bloggers, the NU hockey community, and everyone who had the privilege of getting to know John Stevens, we wish him the best of luck in his professional career and wherever life after hockey takes him.