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Rangers Player Analysis 1: Derek Stepan

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Old
12-29-2012, 02:08 AM
  #26
Machinehead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HatTrick Swayze View Post
I think it's fair to be critical of aspects of Derek's game last year. I think he could definitely stand to improve his conditioning.

However, there are not many other players on the Rangers who could pull this off:

Not only did he pull it off, he pulled it off with Mike Rupp and Wojtek Wolski

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Old
12-29-2012, 04:36 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
I won't restate what's already been said about his skillset. However, I watched a ton of Stepan while he was at Wisconsin and he was always at his best when he was playing with an edge to his game. He needs to get his swagger back and he'll be even more dangerous. You see it at times, but occasionally he looks a little too timid.

He certainly has 20-40 upside with more experience and the right linemates.
I think what your saying is best exemplified in some of Stepan's highlights where some of us sit there and go "...he can do that?"






Stepan for the most part is not a showy player, which is why when he makes a play with, for lack of a better term, brass balls, we're completely blown away.

Imagine if he played like that all the time.


Last edited by Callagraves: 12-29-2012 at 05:19 AM.
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12-29-2012, 04:51 AM
  #28
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We need to get DZ and Step hanging out more.

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Old
12-29-2012, 05:18 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by JCresty View Post
We need to get DZ and Step hanging out more.
Chris Neil's remaining teeth hate this idea.


Last edited by Callagraves: 12-29-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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Old
12-29-2012, 06:29 AM
  #30
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Those two are as far apart in personality as anyone on this team. It always feels like Step is too mature for his own good.

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Old
12-29-2012, 09:37 AM
  #31
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my favorite aspect of stepan is that he has the common sense to shoot for bouncy rebounds when he has a guy following up the play. he may not have a great shot, but he could have a very effective shot.

HOWEVER... nobody seems to notice what he's doing and the shot ends up clearly the zone so he has cut back on it -_-

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he kicks his bottom. lol

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Old
12-29-2012, 09:46 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
I won't restate what's already been said about his skillset. However, I watched a ton of Stepan while he was at Wisconsin and he was always at his best when he was playing with an edge to his game. He needs to get his swagger back and he'll be even more dangerous. You see it at times, but occasionally he looks a little too timid.

He certainly has 20-40 upside with more experience and the right linemates.
1. Big time kudos to the OP for this idea, and a really thorough effort on his presentation in the first post of this thread.

2. The above post says it well, but it is a battle between his exceptional intangibles vs. limited natural talent that may be capped. IOW, can he skate faster, even with Babs Underhill help? And if so, how much? Skating speed is not everything, just ask Gene Carr, and there is no question that just because they guy is not Hagelin2 does not mean he is leadfoot.

But his intangible positives don't suggest they can go much higher. If he bulks up, he could get stronger, but that could also work against speed. So can he really improve, by any noticeable degree, the net optimum of his speed and other aspects of physical play? To a negligible degree, sure. To a marginal degree, maybe. To a substantial degree, I don't think so. How about shot? Similar bottom line. Stepan has basic get it done at NHL level ability; but he is not gonna be confused for a sniper who can create and finish by himself if necessary.

Conclusion: Derek is thus a legit talent, we should not overrate or underrate. Given the speed of our top Fs (Kredier, Callahan, Hagelin, Gaborik, and Nash) who we are less likely to move and thus committed to viewing as roster fixtures, an even faster C like JT Miller could work better.

What we need ask, and seem to be doing here in this thread, is first, what in detail does Derek bring to the table, and second if the value of what that is worth more by keeping him, that's what we do, and if it isn't we consider moving him without hesitation IF the return is good enough.

This does not mean we dump Stepan by giving him away. We only trade him, like any other player, if it serves a purpose, usually to return an acceptable profit.

So the question is should/can we keep Stepan? We need to factor into this salary cap issues. If Miller beats out Stepan as a better fit with speedier linemates, whether sooner or later, that relegates Derek to the third line. That is a strengthening of our pivot. But can we afford that?

So I have an open mind, but given he has, and truthfully yes, he is not the only one, but he has gotten lost for stretches, I believe we can score a high enough return to move him. Chicago, Phoenix, Montreal are three that come to mind immediately and I'm sure the list is longer.

Depending upon the exact return, or what we might have have to kick in with Stepan to score a premium upgrade, I'm leaning to move him.

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Old
12-29-2012, 12:10 PM
  #33
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strange you start with Stepan. I think he is really overrated. Disappeared during playoffs. Slow skater and not really willing to fight for loose pucks. Agree he has offensive skills when unchecked, but I don't see him as long term 1st or 2nd liner.

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Old
12-29-2012, 12:30 PM
  #34
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I'm pretty sure that a possible trade is not the reason this thread was started. So let's not even go there.


I'm a big fan of Stepan. I think he'll top out at 20-45-65 and the people saying he's a bit timid I agree with.

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Old
12-29-2012, 12:47 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe11 View Post
strange you start with Stepan. I think he is really overrated. Disappeared during playoffs. Slow skater and not really willing to fight for loose pucks. Agree he has offensive skills when unchecked, but I don't see him as long term 1st or 2nd liner.
Then what are your expectations of him? 90 point player at 22? He's 2nd round pick, not Crosby. If he topped out at 65 points, but was consistently near that number, I'd be thrilled. Let his game develop.

As for his playoff performance, I think you all are making this into a bigger deal than it is. Look at Datsyuk, for example. He didn't do much during his first few playoff appearances either, but got his **** straight and has been a solid playoff performer since. No need to panic over nothing.

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Old
12-29-2012, 01:35 PM
  #36
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i'm excited for big things from the duo of stepan and kreider going forward...stepan would benefit big time from improving his skating, he's such a smart player that getting where he wants a step or 2 quicker would be a huge difference...

but i think the BIGGEST thing for him (aside from learning to win a faceoff) is to get stronger and hopefully he's been using this lockout for extra training. and more specifically the confidence that comes with being stronger and knowing you can withstand hits...too often when he goes into one of his slumps its cause he is playing timid and not being aggressive

increased strength would help him be more consistant

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Old
12-29-2012, 02:09 PM
  #37
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A 50 point player is already a second liner...Stepan is most definitely a top six player

A quicker step to his skating and staying more engaged in the board play would probably go a long ways towards making him a better player

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Old
12-29-2012, 02:18 PM
  #38
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That Torts likes him speaks volumes. I don't see him as a timid player at all. There are things he seems to be improving on--face-offs and things he can improve on. He's still very, very young. How he pans out as far as offensive stats depends somewhat on who plays on his wing and what kind of opportunities his coaches give him. IMO he has a lot of the same attributes as Marc Savard when he started his professional career--though Savard had a nastier demeanor both on and off the ice. Going forward Stepan slots in as our second line center for the next few years and how that works out is going to factor largely in how well the team as a whole does. He's a very important part of the team.

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Old
12-29-2012, 02:26 PM
  #39
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Definitely my favorite player on the team. When he's on, he makes scoring look so easy.
Also I always thought his wrist shot was underrated.

Common misconception on these boards: just because a player has good vision and hockey sense doesn't mean they are only good for being a playmaker. Cerebral players can also be good at scoring goals. I have seen Stepan score a few creative goals himself.

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Old
12-29-2012, 03:21 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdlineglory View Post
Definitely my favorite player on the team. When he's on, he makes scoring look so easy.
Also I always thought his wrist shot was underrated.

Common misconception on these boards: just because a player has good vision and hockey sense doesn't mean they are only good for being a playmaker. Cerebral players can also be good at scoring goals. I have seen Stepan score a few creative goals himself.
He has a pretty good shot but isn't always very good at getting it off in time

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Old
12-29-2012, 04:16 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Callagraves View Post
I think we'll see everybody play with everybody at some point. It's Torts.

I do agree that Gabby Richie and Nash does top stack the team, I imagine that we'll see it at times. Having an 1A and 1B is better than just a 1 and a 2, but I don't think you have those 3 pieces and don't try them together for the hell of it.

Plus, a powerplay with Gaborik, Richards, Nash, Callahan, and Whatever defenseman you put out there (Del Zotto, ideally) is, on paper, SICK. But, that also allows a second unit including Stepan, Hags, Kreider(?), McD, and lets be honest, probably Richards again at the point.

I may or may not be salivating. Don't judge me.
that 1st PP is insane. second one is kinda mediocre but when you think of what we have had in the recent past: johnny malkin, EC, wolski, feds, etc. i think that stepan hags kreider mcd and staal, richie (double shifted) or even stralman is a fine second unit

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Old
12-29-2012, 04:19 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
He has a pretty good shot but isn't always very good at getting it off in time
he also needs to shoot more often, his mentality of pass first is fine but i have this vivid memory of gabs setting him up perfectly but he tried to pass back to gabs who flew by the net and there was no shot on goal. so yea skating, shot tendency, and his release need to improve for him to become a potential star in this league

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Old
12-29-2012, 04:24 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blooblood View Post
he also needs to shoot more often, his mentality of pass first is fine but i have this vivid memory of gabs setting him up perfectly but he tried to pass back to gabs who flew by the net and there was no shot on goal. so yea skating, shot tendency, and his release need to improve for him to become a potential star in this league
Winter classic memory?

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Old
12-29-2012, 04:54 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Tortorella View Post
Good, creative offensive player. Could be star caliber if he had great hands in tight, but he isn't a goal scorer. Hope he keeps progressing his 2-way play and hopefully elevate himself to a Pavelski-lite player.
The thing is, Stepan has yet to be a "good player". But he definitely has potential for it. He can have great games for sure.

But Torts put him on a 4th line, and it was well "deserved", when we needed him the most. This was an important summer for him. He just needs to improve. Mature. Become more explosive.

If he doesn't, his future will NOT be bright.

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12-29-2012, 06:41 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe11 View Post
strange you start with Stepan. I think he is really overrated. Disappeared during playoffs. Slow skater and not really willing to fight for loose pucks. Agree he has offensive skills when unchecked, but I don't see him as long term 1st or 2nd liner.

What? 50 point player is already a 2nd liner.


I agree on skating. Stepan definitely needs to improve his skating a bit. At the end of the season and playoffs he looked like he was skating in mud. That obviously had a lot to do with fatigue because he went from playing 40-50 games to playing 82 games in back to back seasons plus playoff games last year.

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Old
12-29-2012, 07:43 PM
  #46
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He's the perfect #2 center. His career averages won't be too far off from what he did last year, but he's still a solid player. He's got the skills and the intelligence to make plays happen, he just needs to improve his skating a little bit which will continue to get better with experience -- same goes for his playoff performance. We're going to continue to make the playoffs, and the more we expose him to that kind of environment, the better he will adapt...in theory...

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Old
05-20-2013, 05:12 PM
  #47
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Bumping this to brag and continue. I was going to do one for Gabby, but the season started and he was traded, but now I have the sudden urge to do more.

First off, Stepan has amplified almost all of his positives this past season while improving nearly if not all of his negatives. His skating, his PKing, his shooting, all have seen dramatic improvement. He even found tremendous chemistry with Cally, which I never thought was going to happen. The only thing left for him to do is break out in the playoffs.

The next one will be one of Girardi, Hags, Callahan, Del Zotto or Boyle. What do you guys think?

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Old
05-20-2013, 05:33 PM
  #48
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I really hope for 2 things. 1) As he matures he becomes a better playoff performer, MUCH better playoff performer. It's strange he's got a skilled grinder type game (like Callahan, but better) that he should shine in the playoffs, yet he has what 3 goals 0 assists in his big breakout year in 9 games? 2) That the regular season wasn't a fluke this year. He was so incredibly consistent this year that I really started drinking the kool-aid. The way his production has disappeared in the playoffs is disconcerting, I'm really worried that the consistency in the regular season was just a hot prolonged stretch.

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Old
05-20-2013, 07:49 PM
  #49
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the guy is doing great in the playoffs.. hes not putting up stats, but is creating a ton of chances and scored big time game winners.. idk how anyone can hate..

as he ages he'll be a better performer..

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Old
05-20-2013, 07:53 PM
  #50
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Yeah and he's playing well defensively, but your #1 center has to do better than 0.33 PPG (granted it's a small sample size).

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