Monday, September 21, 2009

09/10 Men's Previews: #21 Derek Stepan


Vitals:

Position: Forward
Year in School: Sophomore
Shoots Right
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Hometown: Hastings, MN
Major: making bags of $$$ w/ McDonagh in the Rangers organization in the near future
Previous Team: Shattuck St. Mary’s in 07/08

NHL Considerations: 2nd round pick of the NY Rangers in 2008 Draft, and was praises excessively during prospect camp this summer.

08/09 Stats: 40 games, 9-24-33, +4, 6 PIM
07/08 Stats: 60 games, 42-62-104, 16 PIM

09/10 Role: 3rd line, 1st PP, PK

08/09 Recap: Derek started off the season slow, but as the season progressed, he was like a wave building and building and building and then all of a sudden he was crashing down on the WCHA. He worked his way into all situations and did well in all situations. He was the most effective forward on the team in the last 20 games, scoring 20 points. By the end of the season he was one of the top PKers after not even participating on the PK to start the season. Derek and the Bohmber did an exceptional job, especially on the same PK against North Dakota on Senior Night, scoring two SH goals on the same PP. Derek should have been on the WCHA All Rookie team.

Biggest Strength: Derek is a talented playmaker, and he is only going to get better this season.

Biggest Weakness: I don’t think he has an obvious weakness, he is good at most things and outstanding at everything else.

09/10 Thoughts: Derek is ready for a breakout year; I think he is ready to go Joe Pavelski on the WCHA. Do I really need to say anything else? He will be key in all situations, continuing where he left off last season. He will be joining Jake Gardiner on the WJC at mid-season, and should be one of the top forwards on that team. I’m very anxious to see Derek on the ice again, he was playing so well at the end of last season, he does that for a whole season and the WCHA will quake in their skates.

Prediction: 32 games, 14-28-42* (go big or go home)
*All predictions for regular season only

Photo from uwbadgers.com