Thread: Player Discussion: Derek Stepan
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02-04-2013, 11:16 AM
  #488
The Sweetness
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Stockholm
Country: Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola View Post
I can't say that I have good track of all that has been posted on Stepan, but from my point of view its definitely legit to follow Stepan's development over the coming seasons and especially from a season to season perspective. And hence we should be talking about him early this season. And early next season.

Stepan has some outstanding abilities -- but overall he is not a good 2nd line center yet. When he was 20 y/o, I definitely expected him to be one this season. I expected him to have improved his jump a bit, to be able to cover more ice. That usually comes with natrual growth for a player who is 20 y/o. To be a bigger factor on a shift by shift basis than he has been so far.

But while he has rounded off his game, is better defensively and so forth, his jump hasn't improved much if any since his rookie year. That just worries me. It would definitely have worried me as much if we were 6-0-0. If it was one thing I, and many with me, took away from the PO's last season -- it was that Stepan at the level he is playing right now does not cut it as a 2nd line center on a CONTENDER. He must improve.
Yeah, I agree with your thoughts about Stepan. While I am happy with Stepan's production this far I thought he'd have improved his skating a bit more. What concerns me the most about Stepan is that it seems his lack of foot speed prevents him from creating space and he struggles to find the time to create offence like he did when he was younger. It is a testament to his hockey IQ that he has adjusted and changed his game by playing the body more and helped to grind, but his lack of mobility really hampers his playmaking skills. He's also so slow on the forecheck it is frustrating at times.

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