Friday, May 31, 2013

Buckeyes' loss is Mavericks' gain
Minnesota State landed a prized recruit on Thursday, as Zach Stepan opted for the Mavericks after decommitting from Ohio State, U.S. Hockey Report reported. Apparently, Stepan, who signed with OSU in November, decided not to be a Buckeye after that school fired coach Mark Osiecki last month.

So who is Zach Stepan? A 5-foot-11, 165-pound center from Faribault, he was third in the United States Hockey League in scoring this past season with 78 points, including 32 goals. The 19-year-old was a third-round draft pick of the Nashville Predators last summer after his second season on the Shattuck-St. Mary's prep team where he was teammates with MSU's Teddy Blueger. He compiled 129 points in two seasons for that team.

He is the cousin of another Shattuck product, the New York Rangers' Derek Stepan, who played college hockey at Wisconsin.

In an article on the Predators' website, Nashville assistant general manager Paul Fenton said: "When Zach Stepan was available in the draft we knew we had a very intelligent, two-way player that we couldn't pass up. He thinks through the game and sees the ice better than a lot of players that were available at that point."

The only two players in the USHL with more points than Stepan this season were his teammates Taylor Cammarata and Justin Kloos, both of whom are Minnesota recruits. Stepan was also third in the USHL in shots on goal with 221 in 56 games.

That's a pretty darn good get for the Mavericks and coach Mike Hastings. I hope to have more on this in the near future.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Unreal addition for the Mavericks. Watched Zach play a couple of times this year with Waterloo and his line (with Cammaratta and Kloos) seemingly scored on every shift. I'm not sure if there's any truth to the rumor that he was released from his OSU scholarship after agreeing not to transfer to another Big 10 school, but that seems to make sense. I'd imagine he'd probably be joining his linemates at Minnesota, otherwise. Whatever the case, I'm thrilled he is coming to Mankato. Great work by the MSU coaching staff! GO MAVS!!!