Derek Stepan

6) THE ROOKIES It's been a while since

It's been a while since the Rangers had three rookies playing significant roles on a playoff team. In fact, no other NHL team has three rookies playing as many minutes as Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer do for the Rangers.

Stepan scored 21 goals this year. He brings needed playmaking and creativity to the Rangers' top six forwards. McDonagh and Sauer have become the Rangers' third and fourth defensemen, an extremely rare feat in the NHL. Perhaps most astounding is the fact that all three youngsters do not seemed overwhelmed. The postseason will be their baptism under fire; how each of them holds up could have a lot to say about the Rangers' playoff fate.

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The Rangers selected center Derek Stepan out of Wisconsin in the second round of the 2008 draft. He captained the U.S. World Junior team to a gold medal in 2010 and won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg award as the best rookie in Rangers training camp later that year.
See Stepan's bio and statistics

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