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Rampage sign first-rounder Stewart

The San Antonio Rampage announced today that the club has signed NHL first-round draft choice right wing Anthony Stewart and defenseman Daniel Jacob to amateur try-out contracts.

“Anthony is a powerful young forward with an extremely bright future,” Rampage Director of Hockey Operations Matt Loughran said. “He plays aggressively and is also a scoring threat. Scouts have projected that Stewart will have a long and successful career and we’re pleased that he will be making his professional debut in front of our fans in the Alamo City. This will be a huge benefit in Anthony’s development to play against some of the finest hockey players in the world, here in the American Hockey League.”

Stewart, 20, was the Panthers’ first-round choice (25th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-1, 221-pound forward paced the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) with 67 points (32g, 35a) in 62 games played this season. For his career, he has played in 248 contests with Kingston scoring 118 goals with 120 assists.

“Anthony has seen great success at the junior level of competition and our fans should be excited to see him compete in our final seven home contests of the season,” Loughran added. “He becomes the ninth first-round draft choice to suit up for the Rampage this year.”

Kingston’s OHL season ended on Sunday. The Frontenacs did not qualify for the playoffs.

The LaSalle, Que., native helped Team Canada earn a gold medal at the 2005 World Junior Championship in January. Stewart also took home the silver medal at the 2004 World Junior Championship, finishing tied for first as the tournament’s leading scorer (5-6-11), while pacing all players with a plus-11 rating.

In addition, he played for Team Canada at the 2003 Under-18 Championships in Russia and at the 2002 Eight Nations Cup in Slovakia. He also has been ranked as one of the top prospects in an annual poll conducted by The Hockey News for the last two years.

Jacob, 24, scored four goals and added 19 assists in 23 games with the McGill University Redmen this season. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound defenseman was selected as an OUA All-Star for his accomplishments. The McGill team captain help guide the Redmen (17-6-1) to their first division pennant since 1946. For his career at McGill University, Jacob played in 108 games registering 46 points (16-30-46) and 327 penalty minutes. Off the ice, the Levis, Que., native was nominated for the Reader’s Digest Humanitarian Award, which recognizes athletes for their on and off-ice sportsmanship.