Rangers prospect, Derek Stepan

Three of the Rangers top prospects will be participating in the Frozen Four of college hockey’s postseason tournament – center Derek Stepan and defenseman Ryan McDonagh of the University of Wisconsin, and forward Chris Kreider of Boston College.

Stepan, the Rangers second round pick in 2008, is Wisconsin’s leading scorer this season. As some of you might remember, Stepan was also the leading scorer at the World Junior Hockey Championship as he captained Team USA to a gold medal. Stepan has a well-rounded offensive game with the ability to score and make plays, and he understands his defensive responsibilities. He thinks the game very well, and I’m excited to see him in a Rangers uniform in the very-near future.

McDonagh is a solid bruising defenseman who can also contribute on the offensive end (the Rangers really could have used that this year…). He knows how to be responsible in his own end and has the size to be a physical force, and he combines that with an ability to contribute on the offensive end of the rink, making the smart pass and keying the rush. He plays an impressive all-ice game. Stepan, McDonagh, and the rest of the Wisconsin Badgers beat RIT in a rout earlier today, 8-1.

Kreider, along with Stepan, is one of my favorite young players to watch. Kreider was also a member of the USA team that won gold at the World Juniors, and he was the tournament’s leading goal scorer. Kreider is a speedy forward with a big frame, who for the most part has been playing left wing for Boston College. A prototypical power forward, Kreider displays speed and scoring ability. He’s a clutch player and is very smart on both ends of the ice. He struggled out of the gate this season, but after returning from juniors he has really been on a tear – 12 goals, 16 points in the 12 games since the tournament. Kreider’s BC squad faces off against Miami of Ohio at 8:30. Check it out on ESPN2.

The winner of the BC-Miami game will meet Wisconsin in the National Championship on Saturday night at 7pm, on ESPN.

Photo Credit: redwhiteandblueshirts.wordpress.com