Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stepan makes NHL Skills Comp; Smith AHL All-Star

Things just keep getting better for the kid. Former Badger Derek Stepan, in his first professional season has been named as one of 12 rookies who will participate in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® competition.

Stepan, a 20 year old center from Hastings, Minnesota surprised many when he signed with the New York Rangers in the off-season after only two years at Wisconsin.

Stepan has more than earned his keep for the blue shirt's so far this season. He's currently second on the club in scoring with 24 points (12 g, 12 a) in 44 games. Stepan is currently third in rookie scoring.
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Another former Badger who has made a swift transition to the pro game has been Brendan Smith. It was announced Tuesday that Smith has been named to the AHL All-Star game. Smith is the only player from the Grand Rapids Griffins to be named to the team.

Smith had a huge junior season for the Badgers in 09-10 which resulted in him being named a Hobey Baker finalist. Currently Smith has 8 goals and 13 assists in 36 games for the Griffins.

The 21 year old defenseman from Mimico, Ontario is making Griffins history. With his appearance in the AHL All-Star game, he will become the first rookie defenseman in Griffins history to appear in the game.