Derek Stepan’s production versus ice time is becoming a concern
Derek Stepan may have 21 points on the year and is third on the team in scoring, but if you feel he isn’t producing like you think he should…you may be onto something.
— FullTilt Rangers (@NYR_FullTilt) December 18, 2016
During the game I tweeted this chart out. It measures a player’s production per 60 minutes of total play (not per game). The reason you look at it this way is to see which players are making the most of their ice time. Of the NYR considered top 9 forwards, Stepan ranks 8th, only Mats Zuccarello is doing less with his ice time.
Ice Time Matters
Here’s the current average ice time leaders for the top 9, which makes this argument even more resounding. Zuccarello 18:42, Stepan 18:05, Kreider 16:47, Hayes 16:42, Zibanejad 16:41, Nash 16:03, Miller 15:59, Vesey 14:27, Grabner 13:22.
The argument made to defend Stepan is that he plays a lot of shorthanded minutes and that hurts his production. Well it’s actually Michael Grabner that averages 1:50 shorthanded per game, while Stepan comes in 3rd among forwards at 1:26. The team’s leading scorers, Hayes and Miller are getting 1:20 each.
When it comes to PP time, Stepan is getting a whopping 2:29 per game while Hayes gets 1:28 and Miller just 1:19. Bottom line, Stepan gets paid 6.5M a year and is considered the #1 center of the team, he needs to produce more with his ice time.
Remember, his contract has a full no trade clause that kicks for 2 years starting this summer. If his production doesn’t pick up by the trade deadline, things could get interesting.