Dean Stewart has always had a soft spot in his heart for the Arizona Coyotes. Back when Stewart was 10 years old, he went to a Coyotes’ practice, meeting with Shane Doan.
They even had their picture taken.
Selected by the Coyotes in the recent NHL draft, the outstanding Portage Terrier defenceman may one day be making passes to his ‘ol buddy Mr. Doan. Stewart, 18, was selected in the 7th round, 188th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes.
“My family went on a little vacation to Phoenix when I was in grade 4 or 5, and we were able to go and watch a couple of Coyotes practices and we got to go into the dressing room,” recalls Stewart. “Shane Doan and a few of the other players took me around and showed me the facilities and things like that, so there are a lot of great guys in that organization. It was a pretty cool experience.”
Stewart played 42 games for the Terriers last season, scoring eight goals and 14 assists for 22 regular season points. Terriers’ capped their incredible season, winning yet another Turnbull Trophy. The club made a good run at the Western Canada Cup, but fell a bit short in going to the RBC Cup.
“It’s pretty surreal and it definitely still hasn’t sunk in,” Stewart says of the draft. “I mean, it’s pretty much every hockey players dream to get drafted to the NHL and the fact that it happened is really cool. It’s pretty amazing and I don’t know how to describe the feeling right now, but it’s probably the best day of my life.”
Stewart says he was watching the draft, when he got a phone call.
“I was watching the draft on my computer and about three picks before 188, Arizona actually called me and told me they were going to take me with their next pick, so that’s how I found out. It was pretty cool, and it was a pretty exciting phone call for me, that’s for sure.”
Note: The Arizona Coyotes’ published an excellent article about Dean. We thought we would share it with you. Link here to read it.