New York Rangers To Sign 2008 2nd-Rounder Derek Stepan
Stepan reportedly agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract worth $875,000 base salary cap. However, as per the NHL's collective-bargaining agreement, the deal cannot be registered with the league until July 1.
The Rangers selected Stepan with the 51st overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He was ranked 44th on the Hockey's Future Top 50 NHL Prospects list, released this past March.
Stepan, who played two years at Wisconsin, was the team's leading scorer this past season with 12 goals and 42 assists in 41 games played. The center played an integral part in helping the Badgers reach this year's NCAA Frozen Four.
The now-former Wisconsin Badger burst onto the scene at 2010 World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Team USA captain led all tournament scorers with four goals and 10 assists in seven games. While there, Stepan played alongside a pair of fellow Rangers' prospects, 2009 draft picks Chris Kreider (first round, 19th overall) and Ryan Bourque (third round, 80th overall).
The young forward, who is 10 days shy of 20 years old, was expected to attend the Rangers' prospect camp in the first week of July, along with fellow Badger defenseman Ryan McDonaugh, whom the team acquired as part of a trade with the Montreal Canadiens last summer. However, now he will do so as a paid member of the Rangers' organization, with aspirations of making the 2010-11 roster.
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