Vegas jumped at the chance to acquire Stone when it became clear he would not be signing long-term with Ottawa. The Knights offered up appealing defence possibility Erik Brannstrom in the deal-- a small rate to pay to land a class of talent that doesn't generally hit the trade market.
"He's one of our best players every night," Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant said. "Game in and game out, he does the little things. He's not the prettiest person out on the ice, but he does whatever right.
"He makes our team a lot much better."
Stone, who's scored at least 20 objectives in each of his five full NHL seasons, consisting of a career-high 32 in 2019-20, instantly signed a eight-year, US$ 76-million offer after getting delivered to Vegas.
"Awesome location to live, remarkable place to play, [and] a terrific group of individuals," he stated. "It's a remarkable place to work."
The Winnipeg local added a stunning six goals and six assists in seven playoff video games last spring, almost doubling the 13 points he built up in 27 post-season outings with Ottawa.
"Last year was a strange year for me, however [Vegas] is the location I wish to be," said Stone, who has 136 goals and 340 points in 401 regular-season trips. "I'm happy I'm going to be there for a very long time."
Heading into games this weekend in Washington and Detroit, Stone has actually worn just 42 times for the Knights. However in spite of that little body of work, he's currently a crucial member of the group and was called an alternate captain for 2019-20.
"A born leader," Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault stated prior to the season. "It's just natural."
Far this season, Stone tops the Knights with 18 points playing on a line with Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny, logs huge minutes on the league's No. 2 penalty kill, and is tied for 3rd in the NHL with 19 takeaways.
His value goes beyond what reveals up on paper.
"He brings a lot energy," Schmidt said. "The greatest thing I can state about him is his presence in very stressful scenarios and how calm he can be in the room, on the bench and [the ice]
"There's not a lot of people worldwide that can slow things down like he does."
And now Schmidt just has to stress over losing the puck to Stone in practice.
Nate Schmidt keeps in mind the caution from colleagues-- enjoy out for No. 61.
A young defenceman still finding out the nuances of the NHL with the Washington Capitals, Schmidt knew to be cautious around kept in mind puck burglars like Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk.
He didn't anticipate seasoned blue-liners Mike Green, John Carlson and Karl Alzner to provide extra words of caution whenever they dealt with the Mark Stone and the Ottawa Senators.
"'You've got to constantly know where he is,"' Schmidt recalled being told about the winger. "He's just got that type of existence. To have that sort of reputation already-- to make that impression on people-- was pretty substantial."
The set now find themselves on the exact same side with the Vegas Golden Knights after Stone was dealt to Sin City prior to last season's trade due date as part of the lineup tear-down in the country's capital.
Schmidt can't remember a specific play where Stone stripped him of the puck as an opponent, however he's certain it took place.
"Thanks for bringing that up," he joked this week." [Stone] just sees things in a different way than other gamers-- I had fun with Nicklas Backstrom in Washington-- I want I could go in their minds for a bit.
"But I don't know if I might manage it longer than that."
Stone's hockey IQ, an ability to pick up a play coming before it happens, becomes part of what's made the sixth-round pick in the 2010 NHL draft so effective.
Given that ending up being a full-time NHLer in 2014-15, he leads the league with 522 takeaways. 2nd on the list is Ryan O'Reilly, who won the Selke Trophy as the league's leading defensive forward and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP last season, with 381.
Stone's laborious skating stride will never include in any training videos and he will not be misinterpreted for the most skilled player in any game, however the 27-year-old's instincts and smarts are world class.
"He's amazed a lot of individuals," said Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Ceci, who created Stone through the Senators' system. "He believes the game at an extraordinary level. I saw that immediately.
"The way he sees the ice and gets it done is crazy."