Found November 09, 2011 on Blue Seat Blogs:

Apparently Derek Stepan is part of the Rangers young core. Well, the Sun goes down at night if you didn’t already know. Most people that took notice of the 2nd year Rangers’ rookie year will know what kind of a player the Rangers might have on their hands. Anyone that followed his career prior to landing in New York knows that Stepan can handle big games too. The World Junior Championships being exhibit A.

At this stage of his career however, there may be a better question to consider. Instead of whether Stepan is part of the Ranger core (he is – duh); what is his upside both statistically and in terms of roster spot? Has it changed since he burst on to the scene with a hat trick last season?

What is perhaps most impressive with Stepan is a key ingredient required for sustained success in the New York sports world: temperament. Stepan had a poor start to this season – at least offensively speaking. How often did you see him vent his frustration or how often did you see him smash a stick against the boards? Never. Stepan is a grounded individual with vision and a huge dose of skill. I’ll bet you that his approach to the game played a big part in the recent turnaround in his play (and production).

His pass for Marian Gaborik’s first goal against the Jets was a great display of accuracy, patience (allowing the play to develop) and awareness. He knew very well that he had one of the best shooters in the game in perfect position to his right. Derek Stepan makes good decisions. At this stage Rangers fans will be enthused by the depth at center if Stepan and Anisimov continue to grow their game. For the record: given the prospects en route to the big club (Kreider, Thomas, Hagelin, Miller) do not think Anisimov’s future lies on the wing unless he blows the roof off of the renovated MSG offensively.

Derek Stepan could round out as a very nice, high end second line center; a compliment to Brad Richards. For those fans that think that’s not a good place to be or even an insult check out some of the other teams in the league who have had recent success. Having a good one-two punch down the middle is a great recipe for success. Look at the Penguins, the Wings, the Sharks, Canucks – they all have impressive center depth.

Back to the question at hand; what is Stepan’s potential upside? Rangers’ fans should (would?) gladly accept a 50-60 point playmaker with an impressive hockey IQ and defensive conscience any day of the week. That Stepan’s offensive production may be capped because of Richards being ahead of him in the depth chart should be immaterial. Having a great 1-2 punch is what matters most and the way Stepan is going recently, the Rangers appear to be on their way to having a lethal combo on their hands.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Derek Stepan Looking at a Breakout Year

When a rookie enters the National Hockey League and scores 21 goals and 45 points in his first professional season, you would normally consider that to be his "breakout" year. Those were the  credentials of 21-year-old Derek Stepan in 2010-11, and although he put up such incredible numbers as a freshman, I don't classify it as his breakout period. He may have surpassed...

Stepan Line Gets it Done in Win Over the Senators

The New York Rangers’ used the offense created by the Derek Stepan line to defeat the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa last night by a score of 3-2. Derek Stepan picked up a goal and an assist while Marian Gaborik had two goals and an assist and Artem Anisimov set up two goals. In all, the line combined for 8 points. Gaborik is on fire. He now has 9 goals and is playing like he did...

G.A.S. Line Honored for Big Night

Derek Stepan was honored for his big 1g, 2a night against Ottawa with Puck Daddy's #2 star...No. 2 Star: Derek Stepan, New York RangersStepan was in on every New York goal, scoring once and setting up his new winger, Marian Gaborik, for two more as the Rangers topped the Ottawa Senators, 3-2. The first two of those goals came 2:17 apart in the second period, and the Rangers never...

Rangers Showing Signs Of Improvement?

The Rangers seem to be doing more right than they are doing wrong these days and for the first time this season, the majority of fans are starting to see the bigger picture. From day one we’ve been preaching patience, defending Sather and Tortorella till we were blue in the face over roster decisions, line permutations, tactics, etc. Lucky for us, the team is progressing just as...

Rangers Ride GAS Line To Fifth Straight Win

The New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.  Marian Gaborik had two goals, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and Anisimov was credited for two assists.  While Gaborik and Stepan will draw most of the headlines it was Anisimov who was the critical piece to all three goals the line generated...

Postgame: Rangers' Top Line Carries Them to Fifth Straight Win

The New York Rangers did not play as well tonight as they have in their previous four wins, but the show put on by their top offensive line was enough to earn them their fifth straight win against the Ottawa Senators at ScotiaBank Place. It's normally not fair to point to just three players as the main reason for a win, but looking at tonight's performance as whole, I think...

Will Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider Be The Doug Weight and Tony Amonte Of This Generation?

Doug Weight and Tony Amonte. How I used to cringe throughout the 90’s whenever I saw them dominating the NHL. Both of them the crown jewels of the New York Rangers prospect list in the early 90’s. Both were college bred American born players and both absolute necessary trade chips towards building the 1994 Stanley [...]

Stepan's line fuels fifth straight win

OTTAWA (AP) - Marian Gaborik scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shot...

Who’s Line Is It Anyway? Rangers @ Senators Post Game Thoughts…

When the Rangers played the Sens last time they had some very different looking lines. This time they matched up with the Sens with a red hot trio of Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, and Marian Gaborik leading the way. And did they ever lead the way. Gaborik with 2 goals, Stepan with a goal and 2 assists, Anisimov with 2 assists, and probably should have gotten credit for a...

Rangers 3, Senators 2

Marian Gaborik scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots for New York (8-3-3), which hit the road for the first time since a 4-1-1 homestand. The Rangers haven't lost since Oct. 29 when Ottawa rallied from...

Rangers hold off Sens to run win streak to five

Marian Gaborik scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Rangers top Senators, collect fifth straight victory

OTTAWA (AP) Marian Gaborik scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Rangers top Senators for 5th straight win

Marian Gaborik scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Rangers top Sens for fifth straight win (AP)

Marian Gaborik scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots for New York (8-3-3), which hit the road for the first time since a 4-1-1 homestand.

Rangers' Gaborik '2' much for Sens

Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov led the Rangers to their fifth straight victory, accounting for every goal on their line in a 3-2 win over the Senators on Wednesday night.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.