Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Derek Stepan Called "Whole Package"

The recently completed IIHF World Championships tournament over in Slovakia, Rangers center Derek Stepan led Team USA in scoring with two goals and five assists while centering the top line. No matter how he played in the tournament the experience of being there was going to be good for his development.  The way he played only added to that and everyone involved took notice including Team USA coach Scott Gordon.  According to the Sporting News...
Team USA coach Scott Gordon identified Stepan as one of the players he was most impressed with after the tournament was finished, comparing him to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. “I didn’t realize how good Derek Stepan was,” Gordon told Sporting News. “He was pretty impressive not just from a point standpoint but his hockey intelligence. He’s the whole package.”

To hear Gordon say what he did about Stepan only adds to what we witnessed from him all season.  As I wrote this morning in Stepan's player review the most impressive thing about him is his hockey intelligence.  That he is plays both ends of the ice and is so smart adds to what his ceiling could be down the line.