So Derek Stepan has a Cousin...

I wasn't very busy today with a huge storm coming, and I have a couple hours before MSG Summer Ice replays the Rangers/Sharks game, so I figured I would repost a couple stat lines on the 2012 draft eligible player Zach Stepan, and compare him to our beloved Rangers player Derek Stepan.

Like his cousin, Zach Stepan spent his youth playing hockey for the Minnesota prep school Shattuck St. Mary, while racking up similarly impressive numbers to Derek before leaving school to play NCAA D1 hockey. After missing part of the season due to the H1n1 virus, Mono, and pneumonia, Zach posted 25 goals, and 39 assists for 64 points in 54 games in his Junior year for his Shattuck St. Mary Prep team. That is 1.19 ppg.

Join me after the jump to look at Derek Stepan's stat lines during his stint at Shattuck St. Mary and how Zach compares to them.

Derek Stepan, in 2006-07, when he was a Junior, posted 38 goals with 32 assists for 70 points in 63 games. That is 1.11 ppg. Very similar in point totals to Zach, given Derek posted a higher goal per game ratio while Zach posted a higher assist to game ratio.

Now, Derek Stepan in 07-08, when he was a senior, took off. 44 goals, 67 assists, 111 points in 60 games. An incredible 40 point jump from his Junior to Senior year. Zach Stepan would need to dominate in his Senior year, provided he even goes back, to hit those numbers. This is also when you started to see Derek's stat line correlate with his playing style. 

Although there are stifling similarities in the two Stepan's development path at this point, there is more to Zach Stepan than comparing him to his successful cousin. He was taken 10th overall in the USHL draft, and is committed to Ohio State, but he has one more year of prep/USHL development before his draft year, and his draft position is reliant on making the right decision on where he plays. In his interview, Zach expresses how positively he feels about Shattuck St. Mary.

Shattuck St. Mary's is an unbelievable school and I personally love the experience I get at this school. The hockey as well has been an amazing experience to play with some players that I have. I really do not know what I will do next year, all I can say is that I love this school and I love being here.

Now, lets take a look at a scouting report. had this to say about Zach Stepan.

Has a good combination of strength and speed, capable of making a game changing hit or scoring the go-head goal. Has great awareness on the ice and has a knack of finding and creating open space. The facet of his game that makes him a top prospect in his age group is his ability to use his body to gain position and control the puck. He plays much bigger than his 5’11, 170 frame. Stepan will be one of the first Minnesotans to be selected in the 2012 draft.

Much like Derek, Zach Stepan's strengths seem to include great on ice awareness and a "knack for finding and creating open space". If he does that as effectively as his cousin, Zach could very well translate into a good NHL player. 

It is a long way away from draft day, but I figured it didn't hurt to familiarize with a prospect that is scheduled to go in the late first, early second round. 

Thanks for reading.

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