Scott Stevens - Early Life

Early Life

Stevens was born in Kitchener to Larry and Mary Stevens, the middle child of three brothers. Larry owned a paper products company, and was also a semi-professional Canadian football player. All three Stevens brothers played hockey as children; older brother Geoff would later go on to be a scout for the New Jersey Devils, while Mike, the youngest, enjoyed a brief NHL career with several teams. Growing up near Toronto, he was a fan of the Maple Leafs, and idolized Leafs defenceman Börje Salming. Stevens attended Eastwood Collegiate Institute, where he played middle linebacker. One of his teammates was Markus Koch, who would go on to win a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins. Hockey was Stevens' true passion, however. He and his brothers often played hockey in the house, ruining the furniture repeatedly. He eventually earned a spot on the Kitchener Junior B team, and passed on the opportunity to tour Czechoslovakia with the Kitchener midget team in order to play there. His play impressed scouts, and he was taken ninth overall by his hometown Kitchener Rangers in the 1981 Ontario Hockey League draft.

The 1981–82 Kitchener Rangers were a team that featured several future NHL players. The defensive corps included Dave Shaw and Al MacInnis, Wendell Young was the team's starting goaltender, and the top scoring line on the team was Jeff Larmer, Brian Bellows, and Grant Martin. Stevens and Shaw were an integral part of the Rangers' defence, playing in every game of the season en route to the team's Memorial Cup victory. In addition, both played in the OHL All-Star Game. Rangers coach Joe Crozier commented on him, saying "He's come a long way this year ... He's strong, tough, handles the puck well and has tremendous hockey sense." Stevens led all rookie defencemen in scoring, and he was named the second best defensive defenceman and second best body-checker in a poll of OHL coaches.

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