Derek Stepan, Center
6-0, 168 lbs.
Date of Birth: 06-18-1990
Drafted in 2nd Round of 2008 NHL Draft
Stepan is an intelligent playmaker who possesses an all around game and loves to play along the boards and in the corners. After leading his prep school Shattuck-St. Mary’s in scoring (44 goals and 67 assists) during the 2007-08 season , Stepan was drafted by the Rangers. This past season he attended the University of Wiscoinsin and posted 9 goals and 24 assists in 40 games as a freshman. Where Stepan really impressed his coaches was off the ice as the freshman showed the ability to work hard, pick up on the coaching and be a team leader by example. The Rangers scouts see his maturity as a sign of things to come and project him to be a future second line center and possibly claim a leadership role upon his entry at the NHL level.
What the Scouts are saying:
“Derek Stepan has the ability to make plays and score goals. He understands how to do all the little things defensively that are such an important part of winning hockey games.” Ray Clearwater, Rangers’ amateur scout.
The word so far on Stepan has been that he is “consistent, hard working and a leader”. Sounds alot like another Rangers prospect who has graduated to a spot with the big club and shown his value to the franchise over the last two seasons, Brandon Dubinsky. If Stepan continues to develop physically and sticks to building his all around game, he could grow into the type of player that could pay huge dividends in the second line center spot for the franchise. Here is some video of Stepan during his freshman season at Wisconsin (He assists on the first goal, then scores the second on a shot from in front):
Next Week: Ryan McDonagh