Hockey's Future is putting out there annual spring list of the top 50 prospects and yesterday released 26-50 and our own Derek Stepan (2nd round 2008) was named the 44th best prospect in the league.
44. Derek Stepan, C – New York Rangers
Height: 6'0, Weight: 168
Stepan was an unknown when the Rangers drafted him out of Shattuck-St. Mary’s in the summer of 2008. The Rangers loved his natural scoring ability, leadership ability, and hockey mind when they selected him in the second round. Since then, Stepan has performed well in his two seasons with the University of Wisconsin, but his biggest play has been on the international stage. As the captain of the gold medal-winning U.S. team at this year’s U-20 WJCs, Stepan recorded four goals and 10 assists in seven games, which made him the tournament scoring leader. Expected to return to Madison next fall, Stepan is two to three years away from an NHL career.
I will disagree with the assertion that he is that far away from the NHL unless by two years they mean 2011-12 because i think by then he should be here with a shot to make it this coming fall. The Badgers also were just given a number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament (along with Chris Kreider and BC). Stepan seems to enjoy the tournament stage so hopefully we will get to see him shine in the NCAA's and continue his climb up this prospect list until the day he puts on that Rangers sweater.