Steven Stamkos (born February 7, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL). Stamkos was the first overall pick in the 2006 OHL Entry Draft, from the Markham Waxers of the OMHA. After a successful career with the Sarnia Sting, Stamkos was selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, following the team’s heavy promotion of him via their Seen Stamkos? website.
Stamkos is of ethnic Macedonian and Scottish descent. He grew up in Unionville, Ontario and played for the Markham Waxers. Before being drafted in the OHL, Stamkos attended Brother Andre Catholic Highschool in Markham, Ontario.
On July 29, 2008, Steven Stamkos signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Lightning, in which he could earn as much as $8.55 million in performance bonuses. In addition, Stamkos has a number of sponsorships, including an athlete’s agreement with Nike (terms not disclosed). He is featured in a Nike online commercial called Forget Everything which was released to coincide with his first game in his hometown of Unionville on October 28, 2008. He also has an endorsement deal with Tissot watches.
Stamkos played in his first NHL game in Prague, Czech Republic at the start of the 2008–09 NHL season. He recorded his first point — a secondary assist — in his eighth game, which was against his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs. Stamkos was glad to have done it at home: “I think it was louder than when the Leafs scored,” he said. “It was great to have that fan support.” He scored his first goal the next game against Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres. On February 17, 2009, Stamkos succeeded in getting the first hat trick of his NHL career against the Chicago Blackhawks. Though Stamkos was heavily criticized for his lack of production during the first half of the season, in which he was limited to less than 10 minutes of ice time some games, he finished the season on an impressive run, with 19 points in his final 20 games’.
Prior to the 2009-10 NHL season, Stamkos spent the summer training extensively with former NHLer Gary Roberts, working on adding strength and endurance. Stamkos had a breakout season in 2009-10, being near the NHL lead in goal scoring for most of the season.
Stamkos has played for Canada in the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championships, where he helped the team win a gold medal. After his rookie season with the Lightning, Stamkos was named to Canada’s Roster for the 2009 World Hockey Championships. Stamkos continued to impress at the 2009 IIHF World Championships, meshing with fellow Lightning forward Martin St. Louis for 7 goals, 11 points and a plus-9 plus/minus rating en-route to a 2-1 loss to Russia in the finals.