The Senators selected their first player based in North America in the fourth-round.
Stephen Halliday, a 6-foot-3 centre out of Dubuque in the USHL, was the USHL’s first overall pick in 2018 and was on our radar in his first draft-eligible year back in 2020. Here’s what we had to say about him then:
In a draft with many smaller players, 6-foot-4 Stephen Halliday stands out as a physical specimen that teams might be intrigued by. Committed to — you guessed it — North Dakota, Halliday was one of the USHL’s top forwards among his age group during his rookie season with the Central Illinois Fighting Aces, and he only grew his game this season with Dubuque. He’s a pass-first player with outstanding hockey sense, and is always looking to create for his linemates. The cons? Sometimes he can get caught processing and stop moving his feet; other times, he’ll pass up good opportunities for himself. I fully believe that skating is something that can be worked on, but pace is something that’s a bit harder to teach. He could definitely turn into a gem, though, and that’s why he’s mentioned here.
After going undrafted and having COVID-19 impact what was meant to be his freshman year in North Dakota, Halliday — one of the younger players ranked for 2020 — returned to Dubuque and slightly improved his scoring totals, going from 0.82 points-per-game to 0.92. This past season, fresh off of a commitment to Ohio State, Halliday recorded 35 goals and 60 assists to finish second in the league in scoring, finishing first in primary points-per-game among non-NTDP players.
From McKeens’ Brock Otten:
Stephen Halliday was one of our highest OA’s available. Loved the step forward he took this year. Skating and conditioning improved. Use of his size more consistent. Became USHL’s all time leading scorer this year. #NHLDraft— Brock Otten (@BrockOtten) July 8, 2022
Expect Halliday, who turned 20 earlier this month, to play at least two seasons of college hockey before moving over to Belleville.