March 28: Stevenson has now officially signed his two-year entry-level deal, though it will begin in 2022-23, not this season. The contract carries an average annual value of $885K.
March 24: The Washington Capitals are expected to add some goaltending depth to the organization, as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet tweets that Clay Stevenson will join the organization now that his college season at Dartmouth is over. Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK TV adds that Stevenson met with both the Capitals and New York Rangers, while drawing interest from the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken.
Stevenson, 22, would normally have been in his sophomore season, but missed all of 2020-21 when the Ivy League schools decided to cancel men’s hockey. Instead, this was his first season of college hockey, and he ended up posting a .922 save percentage in 23 games. Even more impressive is that Dartmouth was not a strong team, leading to a 6-14-2 record on the year despite his solid numbers. Two of those six wins (the team had seven total) were even shutouts, likely instances that impressed scouts even more.
Notably, the Capitals went from having two young potential starters to lots of question marks in net over the past year, with Ilya Samsonov’s struggles the most surprising turn of events. Both Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek are restricted free agents at the end of the year (arbitration-eligible), meaning there could eventually be a path to the NHL in Washington for a player like Stevenson. Undrafted, the 6’4″ netminder became a star in the BCHL–recording a 30-2-2 record with a .936 in his final season–before heading to college.
As he is already 23, he’ll be signing a two-year entry-level contract.