Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers is the Toast of the Big Apple

December 24th, 2010 by Sean Hartnett Leave a reply »
It seemed obvious that Derek Stepan was destined for greatness in the NHL after his performances during the 2010 IIHF World Under-20 Championships.  Stepan was named captain for the United States and led tournament scoring with 4 goals and 10 assists in 7 appearances for the Americans.  His stellar play capitulated the United States into the final where they captured the gold medal over the favored Canadians in Saskatoon.

Many highly-touted NHL rookies of a similar age as Stepan usually need seasoning in the minors, but the Minnesota native made a huge impression during the New York Rangers' 2010 summer development camp.  He continued to fire throughout the Rangers' preseason, earning a place on head coach John Tortorella's opening night roster.

The Rangers' bench boss clearly knew what Stepan was capable of long before he penciled the 20-year-old's name into the lineup before their season opener in Buffalo.  When asked by reporters if Stepan would be nervous by the occasion, Tortorella responded, "I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, because I think he embraces all of his challenges and looks at it as an opportunity.& ...

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