by Patrick Hoffman on 10/10/10 at 11:26 AM ET
Throughout the pre-season, many Ranger fans and beat writers were clamoring for prospect Derek Stepan to make the team after his performance in training camp and pre-season games.
Together, they were right for wanting him to make the team because in his first NHL game last night against the Buffalo Sabres, Stepan recorded a hat trick in leading the Blueshirts to a 6-3 victory.
Yes, it is very easy to get excited early on in the season when things go right but may be this time, there is a reason for that excitement. Stepan is proving to the team, its fans and the organization that kids are all right.
Not only did Stepan score a hat trick for the Blueshirts, but another one of the team’s youngsters, Brandon Dubinsky, picked up two goals.
After the game, both head coach John Tortorella and Dubinsky had nothing but postive things to say about the 20-year old Stepan.
“Good for him,” Tortorella said of Stepan following the game. “And he did a lot of other good things other than score goals for us. It’s good to see from a 20-year-old”
“We’re really happy for him,” Lundqvist said of Stepan. “Hopefully, he can keep doing what he’s doing because he was really good in camp and tonight, I mean, Wow!”
“He’s such a great talent and it was just awesome what he did tonight,” Dubinsky said of Stepan. “He’s a big part of the team and he’s really going to help us this year. The best thing about him is that he is confident, but he stays with that even keel.”
It’ll be interesting to see what else this kid can do as the season progresses.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.