NHL Hockey: Clayton Stoner
POB: Port McNeill, B.C., Canada
Height: 6-3 Weight: 225lbs
Shoots: L, Position: D
NHL Seasons: 2
It wouldn’t be the West Coast without mention of a Stoner!
Clayton Stoner followed in the footsteps of another NHL star Willie Mitchell from the small West Coast logging town of Port McNeill, B.C. It is amazing that such a small town has churned out two quality professional defensemen!
Stoner was born on February 19, 1985 in Port McNeill and like his mentor Mitchell honed his craft playing in the effective and surprisingly competitive local minor hockey program.
After minor hockey, Stoner played Junior B for the Campbell River Storm and eventually graduated to Junior A where he played for another Vancouver Island team, the Powell River Kings.
Stoner caught the attention of the WHL Tri-City Americans – a team that he would suit up for during the 2002-2003, the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.
It would be in the summer of 2004 that Stoner would be drafted into the NHL – 79th overall by the Minnesota Wild.
After another year in the WHL, Stoner would report to Minnesota’s AHL affiliate – the Houston Aeros where he would play the better part of five seasons. The end of the 2009-2010 season would represent Stoner’s big chance in the NHL – he was a late-season call up and would play eight games in the Bigs that season.
2010-2011 saw Stoner become a more regular contributor to the Minnesota Wild – he would play 52 games and record only seven points.
Stoner scored his first NHL goal on January 4, 2011, against Johan Hedberg of the New Jersey Devils.
It took Stoner a while to arrive but it appears as though he will be in the Bigs for a long career.