The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning agreed to swap defenseman over the weekend. The move shouldn’t have too big of an implication on the playoffs, but wilder things have happened.
The Sabres received the rights to Matthew Spencer, a defenseman from the Orlando Solar Bears. In exchange, the Cincinnati Cyclones received the rights to defenseman, Devante Stephens. Both players have been in the ECHL this season but have a good opportunity to make their AHL affiliates.
Spencer, a native of Ontario, Canada is a 6’2″, 194 lb., right-handed player was drafted in the second round of the 2015 OHL draft but never lived up to his potential. He has one assist in five total games this year and the 22-year-old has split time with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL and the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. He has a -3.
Stephens is from British Colombia, Canada and also stands at 6’2″ and weighs 190 lbs. Stephens was drafted in the same draft as Spencer but in the fifth round and the main and only difference between these players is that Stephens is a lefty. In three games this season, Stephens has one assist and a +/- of 0.
What’s the Future Hold
The two players are hoping that the change of scenery will be enough to at least elevate them to the next level, the AHL, but only time will tell. Both players are young enough to develop their skills to make an NHL roster, but at this point, a promising AHL career is more likely.
Stephens and Spencer have the potential to be linked together throughout their careers if they advance to the AHL. Spencer would play for the Rochester Americans and Stephens the Syracuse Crunch. Both teams are also division rivals and are located just over an hour away from each other. The only way to see what’s in store for these players is on the ice.
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