Stepan is 2 years ahead of AA in terms of development. They basically had the same point production, last year. This is a big year for both, but I like AA to center Dubinsky and Callahan on the 2nd line. That said, Stepan is/will be the better player.
Stepan is much more decisive and a "go" player in the offensive zone. His job is to create and he did that in his rookie year playing mostly on a third line. His stock is rising and his potential is sky high right now.
Anisimov is better defensively because he's more of a typical 3rd line two-way "checking" center (although he passes up more hits than a good catholic girl at a grateful dead concert) who can put up 40ish points while playing defense-first hockey. That's extremely valuable to a championship team, but I don't see Anisimov ever putting up the offensive numbers that Stepan's going to be putting up in a few years.
Stepan reminds me of a mix beteween Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. I'd love that to be our 2nd line center for the next decade, maybe even our 1st one day. I see Anisimov as our version of Jordan Staal for the Pens. An above-average 3rd line center who could easily play 2nd line C with the right wingers on the right team, but will succeed admirably in a 3rd line shut-down role playing against the opponents best players while still being able to produce offense when he gets a chance to.
I also have to add that if Anisimov didn't play with Dubinsky and Callahan last year, he wouldn't have sniffed 40 points. He simply didn't create enough on his own. That's not to say he won't improve in that area because he has significantly improved every year he's been in the pros. Best case scenario he's similar to a Nemchinov (the early years with the Rangers) who if he stays healthy can be a perennial 40-50 point center who makes life miserable for the other team's best players. If that's the production from your third line center, you're in fantastic shape, offensively.
Right now they are what they are. 2a & 2b centers.
In 4-5 years I can see Stepan giving NYR a reasonable reason to trade Richards when his contract value drops as well as his production. If Stepan develops into a 1c for us and Arty is without question a 2c then that gives us a reason & leverage other then "just cuz" to trade Richards and get better value in return for him.
Sorry, I just don't see Brad finishing his career in NY unless he is willing to take a reduced role in his later years like Modo did in Dallas. And if DS & AA reach their potential we wont "need" BR so much as want him still if the situtation is mutual.
Great question. I sometimes think about which center that they would trade of the two IF Slats decided to dangle one to land a top line winger... Tough call and already looks like it will be 50/50 here.
Twist my arm and I'll take Stepan. Today? Anisimov by a hair.
Last edited by HAPPY HOUR: 07-11-2011 at 10:05 PM.
They're very different types of players, so it's difficult to answer the question. Right now Anisimov is better away from the puck and better in his own zone. You can already tell Stepan will be the better playmaker, it's his competitive advantage. Looking forward to seeing these two grow into their own.
Down a goal and faceoff in the opposing zone, give me Stepan.
Up a goal and faceoff in our own zone, give me Anisimov.
I think if you pick one, you have to go Anisimov. Stepan is great for a young guy, but Anisimov is physically superior, more skilled, and better defensively.
Stepan I'd expect to be better offensive (marginally) and probably be a better leader.
The only way that I can really justify taking Stepan is if he explodes offensively.
In the long run, there is no question that Stepan will be the better player. You really have to be in some major denial to realize that. He might even prove that this season. BUT... if you are going by what each has done in their career so far, then AA gets the nod... being such a reliable all-around player.
right now i'd say AA is the #2 because of his chemsitry with dubinsky and callahan...long term i think stepan will become the #2, part of the reason for that is that AA is better defensively and is better suited for 3rd line checking role
Stepan's already at the least on the same level as Anisimov offensively, while Anisimov is the more complete player. I think that makes him a better fit at 2c and Anisimov at 3c, but I guess it will come down to what line combos work better (and no, I'm not saying that means Dubi-Ani-Cally MUST be a line, because that's not the case.)
At the end of the day I think Stepan will be the better hockey player.
I hope Anisimov can work on his defense as I can see him being a good two way 2nd line player like Kesler without the intense goal scoring. You need 2 way players like him to win and I think offensively they are about even, so give my Artem.