3. Derek Stepan, Forward
Stepan is a good player, and that cannot be doubted. Putting up 53 points, 31 of which were assists, deserves a deal but not at $39 million.
His performance in the playoffs suffered, and the Blueshirts needed him in the playoffs most.
The strong play-maker possesses good vision and deserved a contract extension, but not at that price tag. The Rangers need production during the regular season AND during the playoffs, and the offense was almost invisible against Pittsburgh. Stepan put up two goals only in the five game post-season games, and those were his only points as well.
His play has improved since coming to the NHL in 2010-11, and will likely continue to improve as well. With the added responsibility of alternate captain, Stepan shall continue to lead by example.
This is what Stepan looks like stacked up against other forwards around the same price:
You can see that Stepan’s Stats per 60 minutes far exceed that of others. His relative Corsi is the same, but is higher in Corsi for per 60 minutes.
Also, his scoring chances are a little low in some areas as well.
Stepan’s deal keeps him in New York until 2020-21 including a modified no trade clause.