Before this signing, eight out of the top 10 unrestricted free agent forwards had been stricken from the list, leaving only Erik Cole and Chris Stewart, both featured prominently in the third segment of last season's draft pool. Today, Stewart won the race between the two, being signed by the Anaheim Ducks to a 1-year deal, worth $1.7 million for the year.
Stewart heads to a Ducks team that is already rich in size and strength, so he won't necessarily stand out with this team, rather he should fit right in.
Between Buffalo and Minnesota in 2015, Stewart scored 14 goals and 36 points in 81 games played, ranking 216th overall in pool scoring, 149th among all forwards. He's not going to be a guy that scores a ton of points for the Ducks or your hockey pool team, but if he is in the right situation, he should be considered to be a force.
The Ducks already have size in their top two players, Ryan Getzlaf (6'4") and Corey Perry (6'3"), Patrick Maroon is also in the 76" range, not to mention players like Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg, Tim Jackman, Jiri Sekac... all 6'2" and solid. Stewart will bring more size at 6'2", well over 200 pounds, so this team could be a wrecking ball in the offensive end, forechecking.
Buffalo wasn't a good team. Minnesota scored alright, but Stewart never really found his groove after being traded there at the deadline. A fresh start with Anaheim, a fairly well-to-do offensive team with plenty of weapons and players to get scorers the puck? Yeah, I think there could be some gains in there.
The Ducks aren't exactly a Tampa Bay or Washington, when it comes to offensive potential, but they aren't too far off. Stewart is going to have to drive the net, get into the opposition goalie's face and bang in some garbage goals, but that's what the Ducks like. There's a fit here, it will be up to Stewart to take a solid shot at it.