Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stone Senses Opportunity with Sens

Mark Stone is one of the guest instructors at this
week's Wheat Kings' Hockey School
  The Brandon Wheat Kings' annual hockey school is taking place this week and one of the guest instructors is former captain Mark Stone.

  Stone played his first professional season in 2012-2013, notching 38 points in 54 games with the AHL's Binghamton Senators.

  "It's different hockey. The guys are bigger, they're stronger, they compete harder...it's a different game," said Stone on Monday, "Sometimes in junior, you can get away with taking a night off but in pro hockey, you can't do that.  You have to bring your best every single night."

  Stone saved his best for last during his campaign with Binghamton, notching eight goals and 20 points over the final 20 regular season games and adding three points in three playoff contests.

  "We had a really good team the first half, and I wasn't playing as much in the role that I wanted but I learned what it takes to play both ends of the game," added Stone, "Towards the end of the season, got put more into a scoring role and really was playing a top-six role over the last 20 games or so and was able to start producing."

  The 21-year old Stone played four regular season games and one playoff game with the NHL's Ottawa Senators last season and feels there's an opportunity for him to become a full-time NHLer this fall.

  "You saw what happened with us on July 5th, so there's a lot of opportunities for young guys to step in and play pretty big roles," said Stone, "I know they're going to give me an opportunity, it's just a matter of me taking advantage of it or not."

  Stone will be wearing a new number with Ottawa this season, giving up his familiar #16 for newcomer Clarke MacArthur.

  He'll be sporting the reverse number, 61, this fall instead.

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