Atlanta Thrasher right wing Anthony Stewart is making GM Rick Dudley and Coach Craig Ramsay look…well good.
Stewart for his entire NHL career has been known as a role player. In 106 games in the NHL, Stewart has scored a grand total of four goals and eight assists. After a decent training camp, the 6" 2," 239 pound, Stewart earned a spot on the Thrashers primarily as a third line checking forward.
Stewart played junior hockey for the Kingston Frontenac in the OHL and scored at least 32 goals in each season with the exception of his rookie year.
When he hit the major leagues, goals became less frequent and harder to come by. Stewart played partial seasons in Florida but spent more time in the AHL playing in the minor leagues.
When the Atlanta Thrashers picked up Stewart, it provided him a second chance to live his dream and make it in the NHL.
In the first few games of the season, fan criticism was high on Stewart with many wondering why he was even on the team.
In subsequent games, Stewart started to put the puck in the net and currently finds himself as the leading goal scorer on the team.
It is not likely that Stewart will end the season as the team’s top goal scorer, but it is likely he will have a career season if he continues to play as he has.
Before the season began, GM Rick Dudley and Coach Craig Ramsey spent a great deal of time reworking the Thrashers roster. They put a premium on signing character players who can contribute the intangibles.
It looks early on like some of those moves are starting to pay dividends.