With the Derek Stepan trade complete, there is a void for the top center on the roster. Despite this loss, I feel that this position can be filled by a player currently on the depth charts. It is Mika Zibanejad.
Currently, Zibanejad and the Rangers are in talks on a contract extension and this should happen shortly. When Zibanejad is locked up, the Rangers will have a 24-year-old center who has the ceiling to be even better than Stepan.
With Zibanejad entering into the prime of his career, he can potentially average 20 plus goals a season, 60 or more points and an above average faceoff win percentage. Despite not reaching these stats last season, Zibanejad has proved in the past he can notch 20 goals and this is before he has enter his prime.
I know the Rangers will look else where for another player to possibly fill the Stepan void, but I believe if they lock up Zibanejad with the right deal, they can have their number one center locked up for on a cheaper deal than Stepan’s.