Derek Stepan, who was acquired at the NHL Draft along with goaltender Antti Raanta, will be called upon to play a big role in the Coyotes future.

Having already been deemed Arizona’s first-line center, Stepan will be expected to create plays offensively, be solid defensively, and improve special teams. The veteran is a proven leader and his presence will benefit the Coyotes both on and off the ice.

Stepan, 27, was a second-round pick in 2008 by the New York Rangers and in seven NHL seasons has played 515 games, recording 128 goals and 232 assists as well as 19 goals and  30 assists in 97 playoff games.

Though he won’t necessarily replace the physical presence of Martín Hanzal , Stepan will hopefully be able to help young wingers like Max Domi to succeed. The Coyotes desperately needed a top-line center and the addition of Stepan hopefully gives them this, as well as providing veteran presence to a very young team.

Stepan has 4 years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million and a no-move clause that kicked in July 1.




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