18 April 2019
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2010-2011 NHL Top Prospects profile


 

22 - Derek Stepan

New York Rangers, Centre, 6’0” – 187 lbs

Proving he can get his nose into the dirty areas and bring his quick shot to the slot area, Derek Stepan has given the Big Apple fanatics a horse to rally around on the forward ranks. On 29 September 2010 in a preseason match against the Detroit Red Wings, Stepan drove to the net and drove a one-timer from Ruslan Fedotenko past Jimmy Howard. That willingness is indicative of the kind of desire the kid is showing to make the roster on a full-time basis.

Stepan USA

The slight centre from Hastings, Minnesota has steadily improved since his second-round selection (51st overall) in 2008 after attending the prestigious Shattuck-St. Mary’s Highschool.

The resilience exhibited by the former University of Wisconsin star at the 2010 World Junior Championships in which he ended up with a gold medal in his pocket and accolades hung around the tournament’s leading scorer and First Team All-Star, Stepan is now forcing his way into head coach John Tortorella’s conversations.

Stepan NYRIn a 1 October 2010 preseason contest versus the Ottawa Senators, the boy who grew up idolizing Mike Modano showed he has the attention to detail and came up large with another multiple-point performance.

Evidenced on Stan Fischler’s 29 September 2010 MSG.com blog, Tortorella praised his youngster, "Derek has an inner-confidence about himself. He's not flamboyant; he's very respectful of the game. That's why we keep looking at him."

The Rangers have openings up front and could use the type of timely scoring and fearlessness that the 20-year-old is displaying nightly. Certainly his chemistry with Fedotenko in particular (who used a try-out to earn a one-year deal) and ability to showcase his hands has given the coaching staff and GM Glen Sather something to mull over amidst a haze of cigar smoke.

 

 

5 October 2010 / Robin Keith Thompson

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