Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton Heat, proudly owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames, signed forward Mitchell Heard, defenseman Dustin Stevenson and goaltender Kent Simpson to AHL contracts.
Heard, 23, was originally selected in the second round, 41st overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The forward from Bowmanville, Ontario is entering his fourth season as a pro after playing for the Lake Erie Monsters for the last three seasons and a brief stint with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets last year.
In 2014-15, Heard matched his career AHL high in points with 12 in 12-fewer games while also adding 16 points in 12 regular season contests with Fort Wayne before adding 9 points in the Komets’ playoff run.
Stevenson, 25, turned pro in 2010-11 playing three years exclusively in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays and Reading Royals before signing a two-way, AHL/ECHL deal with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in 2013-14. The 6’5”, 220lb. defenseman was part of the Reading Royals team that edged out the Stockton Thunder for the Kelly Cup in 2012-13.
The Gull Lake, Saskatchewan native spent his first full season in the AHL last year with the Adirondack Flames, scoring 3 goals and adding 8 assists in 45 games, including his first AHL goal which came on October 17 in a game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Simpson, 23, should be a familiar name to Stockton fans after being traded from the Chicago organization to the New York Islanders organization and spending most of his 2014-15 season as a member of the Stockton Thunder.
Originally drafted in the second round, 58th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks, Simpson has played most of his professional games in the AHL and ECHL but made his NHL debut on December 14, 2013 for Chicago.