Young forward keen to build on OHL debut
By Brian Smiley, Brantford Expositor – Like a lot of young hockey players, Marc Stevens wasn’t sure whether the best route to making his hockey dream come true would be to travel through the Ontario Hockey League or the NCAA.
On Jan. 11, he made his OHL debut with the Guelph Storm against the Barrie Colts.
“It was … a great experience. I loved the atmosphere and everything about Guelph.”
For Stevens, the Storm uniform is the third one he’s worn this season.
He grew up in Brantford, along with his older brothers – Justin and Michael – living with his parents – Larry and Rosanne.
The now 16-year-old made his way through the Brantford Minor Hockey Association before playing for Welland during his major bantam year.
The following season, his minor midget year, Stevens played for the Vaughan Kings and he was selected by the Storm in the fifth round – 102nd overall – of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.
The six-foot-one, 185-pound forward started this season by returning to Vaughan to play for his school, The Hill Academy. The Grade 11 student recorded seven goals and five assists in just eight games for the under-16 team.
Playing for The Hill Academy, Stevens was injured.
“I punctured a hole in my left lung,” he said. “I just got hit. I took a shot from the side of the rink. A guy came across and hit me. It wasn’t a big hit. It was just perfect timing.”
As Stevens was recovering from his injury, his older brother, Michael, was traded from Georgetown of the Ontario Junior Hockey League to Stouffville.
“When I came back, my brother got traded to Stouffville and when he got traded, Stouffville contacted me and said they’d like to sign me as well,” said Marc.
“It all worked out perfectly. I signed there.”
Marc signed with the Spirit on Dec. 1 and he’s been one of the two wingers on a line with his 19-year-old brother.
“It’s great, I love it out there,” said Marc. “If there’s ever a time when a guy is picking on me, big brother comes to the rescue.
“We know where (we’re going to be) so it works out good. We get a lot of power-play time out there together so we’re working well off each other.”
Around the same time that Marc had signed with Stouffville, he and his family had contacted the Storm to let them know that he had decided he wanted to play in Guelph.
Little did he know that he would make his OHL debut just a month later.
“I was a little nervous at the start of the game,” said Stevens of how he felt while making his debut with the Storm as they hosted the Colts at the Sleeman Centre.
“Walking out in front of 5,000 people, obviously there were some nerves there but there’s a good group of guys there who made me feel welcome.
“I loved it.”