I'm a Ubuntu user trying out Debian 9.4. Since Ubuntu 17.10 I've been happily using netplan.
I do not use Network Manager, preferring to work with all the pieces myself.
Edit: As 0xC0000022L points out in a comment below, netplan is available in the Debian repository. At the time I wrote this question, the netplan version I took from the Debian repository did not work as I expected so I built the version from the Canonical github. Perhaps the comment from @AlexKing below explains why. I will leave this post however because it contains information on building netplan from github.