Stacking up Derek Stepan’s new contract to other top centers

Derek Stepan wins it in OT  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Derek Stepan wins it in OT (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Derek Stepan more than doubled his last contract with the one he most recently signed. A 6 year pact worth $39 million and a $6.5 million cap charge. Derek Stepan’s salary is now the third highest on the Rangers behind only Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash. Will Stepan be the third best player on the Rangers going forward or will he be another overpaid player in New York?

Was Derek Stepan overpaid by the New York Rangers?

Right now this contract may look like another overpayed player in New York but at $6.5 million Derek Stepan is 25 years old and his cap hit is below 10% of the $71.4 Mil salary cap. Jonathan Toews carries a $10.5 mil cap charge and he scored 66 points in 81 games played. Good for the same .81 PPG average as Stepan yet he’s taking up almost 15% of Chicago’s total cap ceiling. Eric Staal carries a $8.250 cap charge which is 11.6% of the Cains salary cap and for only .70 PPG. Point is that this was a great contract Jeff Gorton got Stepan to sign. In time the cap will rise and lesser players than Stepan will be signing these $6-$7 mil contracts all the time and Stepan will look like more and more of a steal at his salary.

In the five years Stepan is in the league he has scored at an average of .70 points per game.  Derek Stepan has superior stats to that of Ryan O’Reilly (.58 PPG) who recently signed a $7.5 mil per contract for 6 years in every major catagory. Stepan has yet to drive his truck into a local Hortons as well. Some other centerman around the NHL with contracts and average time on ice similar to Stepan are listed below. It’s worth noting Stepan had better numbers than most of them last season. He scored 55 points in only 68 games played. Good for a .81 point per game average during 14/15.

How does Derek Stepan stack up against other centers in the NHL?

 

As you can see there’s a lot of centerman around the NHL that have the same contract as Stepan give or take a few $100K yet Derek Stepan had the same or better scoring stats per game as most of them. His career possession stats 51% is right on par with the better possession forwards on this list.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.13.51 PMWhen Derek Stepan steps onto the ice for the first time this coming season, more will be expected of him in a few ways. He is already looked upon as a leader on the team but he will also have to lead on the ice as well. Stepan has always been somewhat of a quiet contributor. At times Stepan is hardly noticed yet he may be on a 10 game point scoring streak. That will need to change with the signing of this contract which more than doubled his previous salary. Derek Stepan will have to be a leader on the ice and on the bench. He’s paid like one of the leading forwards and it’s time he take that role over. Let’s all hope this works out for the best and Stepan has another year of improvement on Broadway.