Ontario Hockey League grad Charlie Stephens is done with Krefeld Pinguine and will start the 2011-12 Deutsche Eishockey Liga season with Kölner Haie.
Stephens played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1997-98 to 2001-02. He was the first overall pick at the 1997 OHL Entry Draft by the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors. He played his rookies season with Toronto before being shipped to the Guelph Storm seven games into his second season.
With Guelph, Charlie was the team’s top goal scorer in 2000-01 with 38. After four games in his final season, Stephens was traded to his hometown London Knights in order to be close to home for family reasons.
Stephens twice entered the NHL Entry Draft. In 1999, he was taken in the second round, 31st overall, by the Washington Capitals. After not signing with Washington, Charlie re-entered the draft and was taken in the sixth round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, 196th overall.
Charlie spent his first year of professional hockey in the Avalanche system, mostly with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears. He contributed 50 points in 74 regular season games with the Bears and played in the AHL All-Star game. Stephens made it into two games with the NHL club that season.
In total, Charlie has played eight NHL games, all with Colorado. After switching to the Ottawa Senators organization and playing with their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, for the better part of three seasons, it was off to Europe.
Stephens has been playing in Germany’s DEL since the start of the 2006-07 season. He began his Euro career with the DEG Metro Stars, where he played two season. His past three years have been spent with the Krefeld Pinguine. In his first season with Krefeld, Charlie led the team in points with 58 in 51 games. His numbers have dropped each year since and this past season he tallied just 32 points in 51 regular season games.