Derek Stepan is not the youngest player on the Arizona Coyotes, but he isn’t the oldest either. Stepan is having a good year for the Coyotes, filling a role that they need.
Derek Stepan is not going to put up 50 points anymore, but that is ok. The former New York Ranger has not put up 50 points since 2017-18, instead, his point total has gone down from 35 last year to just 21 this seasons. It might be because of the role the team needs filled.
Arizona has a lot of offensive players and some great defensemen. However they don’t have many skilled defensive forwards, that is what Stepan is bringing to the team, while also winning critical faceoffs when the team needs it.
Stepan is currently operating at a 47.8% in the faceoff dot, while that might not be the best numbers in the NHL, it is the best of his career. Honestly, I would like to see the Coyotes rely less on Stepan in the faceoff dot. He is starting a pretty equal amount in the offensive and defensive zone, and his Corsi numbers are pretty average with a 49.2%.
For Stepan’s play so far this season I give a C- rating. I just don’t think he has been worth it especially when you consider he is getting paid 6.5 million through the end of next season. Stepan might have some great hockey ahead of him, but what we saw the last few months is not really showing that.
Stepan has been a very intricate part of the Coyotes special teams, he plays on average 1:52 on the penalty kill, and 2:03 on the power play on average per game. In fact he actually has some relatively strong Corsi numbers on the PK, he is at -0.2 which is not as bad as some of his teammates.
Stepan does still have a few months to turn this season around! The Coyotes are going to need Stepan if they are to make the playoffs. Stepan has done it all in the NHL, except winning the Stanley Cup. 97 career playoff games have not given him a Stanley Cup, maybe the Coyotes can change that.