Checking with Twitter, you’d think Derek Stepan was part of the Columbus Blue Jackets by now. Holy cow I’ve never seen so many people ready to ship off a player of the New York Rangers not named Wade Redden or Scott Gomez.
I wonder what it will be like for him to take the ice knowing a good chunk of fans were ready to drop him for Rick Nash. And yes, yes before you get in on me about how Nash is a better player than Stepan, I agree. But, learning about this must really kill your ego, your confidence and just all around self worth.
Just off his second season as an NHL centerman, Stepan certainly knows how to make an impact. In his first game as a New York Ranger, Stepan came out shooting and had a hat trick. At 10:53, 15:08, and 18:20 of the 1st Stepan managed to get the puck in past Ryan Miller, shockingly, it wasn’t a natural hat trick either. Since then, Stepan has been working to prove himself to be a reliable 2nd line center.
While his goals slipped off this past season, dropping from 21 to 17 (not terrible but every goal counts for the New York Rangers) but he has bumped up his assists. It’d be nice to see Stepan coming in to this new season firing on all cylinders. He doesn’t need to get a hat trick every night, but seeing Stepan hit 25 goals this season would be a big help for the Rangers.
His youth and skill will really push the New York Rangers along and I for one am very happy to see him not in a Columbus Blue Jackets sweater.
Lets Go Rangers!