Chris Stewart: Year in Review

Chris Stewart

#25 / Forward / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 6-2

Weight: 228

Born: Oct 30, 1987, (22 years old), Toronto, Canada

Drafted: Colorado's first choice (18th overall) in the 2006 entry draft

2009-2010 Salary: $850,000

Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent

Fun Fact: His older brother Anthony plays for the Thrashers AHL club.

Stat Fact: Led the Avalanche in: Goals, Game winners, and shots

 

 

 

 

 

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

TOI

PPG

SHG

GWG

S

S%  

1st Half

36

11

14

25

+5

36

-

1

0

3

77

14.3

2nd Half

41

17

22

39

-1

28

-

2

0

2

144

11.8

Total

77

28

36

64

+4

64

16:41

3

0

5

221

12.7

Playoffs

6

3

0

3

-1

4

17:59

0

0

1

22

15

 

Of the many Avalanche players to enjoy breakout seasons, Chris Stewart proved to be one of the bigger surprises. After breaking into the NHL in 2008-2009 with 19 points in 53 games, impressive displays of speed and strength, and some quality fist-i-cuffs, Stewart suffered through a less than auspicious start his sophomore season. After posting just 1 assist in the season's first four games, and seeing his ice time drop from 17:24 down to a miserable 8:54, Stewie was sent back down to Lake Erie (where he spent a portion of the previous season) for two games, where he fired off 6 shots. He didn't have to wait long to rejoin the big club and he returned on Oct 23 against Carolina where he posted 2 assists. The slap in the face of being sent to Ohio really seemed to light a fire in his belly and CGS rattled off 4 points in his first two games back in the NHL.

After his initial triumphant return, Chris soon went on 10 game scoring scoreless streak, but he seemed to turn things around at the end on November and put up 4 points in 3 games before Chuck Kobasew fell on David Jones leg, tearing the good doctor's ACL. Stewie's performace in the few games prior to that injury gave the coaching staff enough confidence to give him a shot up on the top line. Provided with quality minutes and linemates, Stewart went on a tear scoring 54 points in the 55 games after Dr. Jones went down. At season's end, Stewart found himself 2nd on the team in scoring behind overpaid Paul Stastny. He also led his club with 3 goals in the playoffs, including the game winner in game 1.

Stewart will be a Restricted Free Agent this summer and demand a nice raise from his meager sophomore salary. The Avalanche will no doubt re-sign him and lock him in for at least a couple more years to see how he will continue to develop. Stewart is the full package: size, speed, skill, and strength. It seems like the only knock on the guy is that every now and then he channels his inner Wolski and floats around too much on the ice. But if the big man can continue to put forth a consistent effort (effort being the key word there) every night, then the sky's the limit.

Season highlight: Chris GD Stewart netted his first hat trick (and 4 points) March 6th against St Louis (who he man-handled all season). It was the first Avalanche hat trick in over two years (Hejduk 12/9/07), breaking the longest active drought in the NHL at 199 games. Stewie netted the hat trick on a penalty shot he earned by utilizing his speed and strength. He collected the puck and rushed through two defenders and into the offensive zone. All Erik Johnson could do was trip Stewart from behind, resulting in the penalty shot. As you'll see below, each goal was scored in a different manor: hard work one timer in front of the net, slapper on a break, and a sly fake on the penalty shot. The man has skill.


Draft Fact: the 2006 draft was a potent one featuring: the above victimized Erik Johnson (1st), Peter Mueller (8th), Jordan Staal (2nd), Jonathan Toews (3rd), Nicklas Backstrom (4th) and Brian Burke man crush Phil Kessel (5th). A few quality players went after Stewart: Claude Giroux (22nd) and Semyon Varlamov (23rd), but the Avs scouting staff made the right choice with #25.

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