Derek Stepan is starting to “Step” it up

Derek Stepan shoes will need to be filled (Getty)

Derek Stepan (Getty)

After missing the beginning of the season due to injury (fractured fibula), the 24 year old first line center, Derek Stepan, is starting to look like he is getting his game back. Since returning on November 8th, he has 3 goals, 13 assists and is a +2.

Last season, Stepan recorded career high numbers. in the 82 regular season games played, he recorded 17 goals and 40 assists giving him a total of 57 points. He was a +12 for the year, proving his defensive capabilities as well.

Upon his return, he said he felt good but often, players are not always 100%. He has proved as of late that he is definitely back to himself and improving with each game.

“I feel, physically, like I’m 100 percent, I feel 100 percent at times and sometimes I feel like I’m slow mentally. I don’t know when that will click in, but I’m trying to make it as fast as possible.” Since this statement, he has shown his mental state has improved as well.

In recent games, he has looked more decisive and aggressive with the puck. His impressive vision on the ice is starting to make a large impact on his game. Since his return in November, he is finally starting to get back some swagger. He is making crisp, no look, on the tape passes and setting up goals. He has been good not only offensively, but defensively as well.

Alain Vigneault has used Stepan against many of the top lines in the NHL and you would have to think that has to do with his defensive strengths. His face-off situation has not been good BUT as long as he can make sure the opposing center does not win cleanly, there is always a chance the Ranger’s will come away with the puck.

MSL with Stepan and Nash vs. Carolina (NHL)

MSL with Stepan and Nash vs. Carolina (NHL)

With Stepan playing the way he has been as of late, Glen Sather should not have any problems paying him and locking him up for the next few seasons.

Right now, that is not what Stepan needs to focus on, but at the same time, keeping his game at this level for the rest of the season can only help with his future in a Blueshirt.



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