Sunday, September 21, 2008

Men's Player Previews: #21 Derek Stepan

Vitals:

Position: Forward
Year in School: Freshman
Shoots Right
Height: 6-0
Weight: 176
Hometown: Hastings, MN
Previous Team: Shattuck St. Mary's

NHL Considerations: 2nd round pick (2008) of the NY Rangers. His dad was drafted by the Rangers back in the day.

07/08 Stats: 60 games, 42-62-104, 16 PIM
06/07 Stats: 63 games, 38-32-70, 22 PIM

08/09 Role: 1st or 2nd EV line, PP

07/08 Recap: Derek helped lead Shattuck St. Mary's to back to back titles the past two seasons. Both seasons he was second in the team in scoring. Reports say he was the dominate player on the ice during the national tournament. His stock really rose in the NHL Draft in June, he was projected as a 3rd round pick, but went later in the 2nd round to the NY Rangers.

08/09 Thoughts: Derek is right up there w/ Jake Gardiner as the most highly touted freshman to join the Badgers this season. Derek will be expected to step in right off the bat and contribute to the offense. It sounded like he played rather well at the NY Rangers prospect camp this summer, which bodes well since he was facing older competition. I've never heard anything but positive things about Derek. I think he'll pick almost all the goal scoring that Kyle Turris left w/ his departure.

Prediction: 34 games, 10-9-19

Photo from uwbadgers.com