1. Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers. Really, really like this kid. Great pedigree, a Minnesotan who played at Wisconsin and was one of the best players at last year's World Junior Championship. Hockey smart, with and without the puck.
Also depends on what role he has. Will he be centering Avery and Fedotenko all season or will he be on the top line?
I'm sure he'll move around throughout the year. I loved him between Fro and Gabby that first game. I'd like to see him get a longer look in some reg season games with them, but I'm fine with him centering any of the top 3 lines as long as all three lines are producing.
Wow. I can't remember the last time such a respected pundit had such high praise for a Rangers prospect.
Still think Stepan might benefit with some kind of stint in Hartford, a couple of months or so, but this is a very nice thing to read.
He's spot on about Loktionov, too. That kid has kind of flown under the radar to some degree, because the Kings have Kopitar and Schenn. He's really, really talented, though. He's a highly skilled playmaker. Damn, that team is going to be awesome in two years.
Not to take away anything from Stepan, but he doesnt really "top" the list.
So here you go, a very personal and highly subjective list of 10 rookies, in no particular order, who didn't make the Top 10 rookies, but who, for one reason or another, could be heard from this season
I'm in love with Stepan, but my hopes for this year dont go past seeing him able to keep up for the whole season. college to the nhl is no joke, the most important things he learns this year are the speed of the nhl and initiate the contact, don't absorb it...his natural talent will do the rest
Prucha hit the 30 goal mark in his rookie year and he was drafted in the 8th round. I am speculating on a 20 goal campaign due to his performance in the preseason and only time will tell, I don't think it is that out of the question.
I could see him hitting 12 - 15 goals and 25 - 30 assists. I'd be really surprised if he hits 20 goals this year. However, I think he'll be in the top 6 for most of the season once everything shakes out. Third line makes sense to start and get him used to the pace, plus he's got two vets who he clicks with on that line, but I think he's going to step it up and show he deserves more ice team before too long.
Not surprised at all. This kid is the real deal. The harder the competition, the better he gets. The only reason why he's not being looked at as the #1 center is #1 minutes is a defensive concern, guaranteed, otherwise, this kid has the tools. His SH goal in preseason showed it all. Rookie of the year....Derek Stepan!!!! yeah boy!!!!!!!!
while it may be a little much to expect him to be able to centre Alex Frolov and Marian Gaborik on the Rangers' No. 1 line, I keep wondering if he's not the Rangers' best option there and just allow him to grow into the position
I think we'll see him on the 3rd line for the first 21 games then as he gets a hold of the defensive game, he'll move up.
aAs a serious Stepan fan and having seen him... 12-15 goals with around 25 - 30 assists. And this is him playing between 1st and 3rd lines. This puts him between 37 points and 45 points.... Anything else and he would be exceeding my expectations for a rookie 1st/3rd line center.
Its really his goal total which will keep his point totals down but I feel that if he gets comfortable in the league we might see him shoot a bit more as the season progresses but then we also have to take into account that he has definitly never played a 82 game schedule at such a hard pace.