Alumni Profile: Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart almost walked away from the game of hockey completely to try his hand at football, but his brother Anthony talked him into giving hockey another shot. Luckily for Chris, Anthony was a member of the Kingston Frontenacs and he was able to convince the club to give Chris a tryout as an undrafted free agent. Luckily for the Frontenacs, they listened to Anthony and were rewarded with a gifted player that spent three years in Kingston.
After taking a year off from hockey, Chris Stewart made the Kingston Frontenacs roster as a walk on and played his OHL rookie season in 2004-05. While finding his way in the league, he managed to put up 18 goals and 12 assists in his first season. Any rust he experienced in his first season was gone by the start of his second. With his brother having moved on to pro hockey, Chris blossomed with the Frontenacs. He had OHL career highs in goals with 37, assists with 50 and points with 87. He also was a career best +19 and had 118 PIM that year. His final season in Kingston was equally as impressive when he put up 36 goals and 46 assists for 82 points.
After his impressive season in his NHL draft year the Colorado Avalanche used the 18th overall pick to select Stewart. His first professional season was spent in the AHL with the Lake Erie Monsters, an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, where he recorded 44 points. He started his second pro year with Lake Erie but was called up to the big leagues on December 5, 2008. Just 4 days later he scored his first NHL goal, a shorthanded goal against the LA Kings in a 6-1 victory. He spent the rest of the season with the Avs finishing with 19 points.
Chris has had a lengthy NHL career spending time with Colorado, St. Louis, Buffalo, Minnesota, Anaheim and Calgary. He also spent some time in Europe during the lockout shortened season in 2012-13. He was selected to represent Team Canada at the World Championships in 2011 recording 4 points in 7 games. In total he has laced up the skates in 652 NHL games scoring 160 goals and adding 161 assists. He has always been known as a guy who will stand up for his teammates and his 64 NHL fights back that up.
Without a contract in place for the 2018-19 season it remains to be seen where Chris Stewart will end up next season. Regardless of that he has had himself an impressive hockey career, especially for someone who almost gave up the game completely.