The Ottawa Senators have announced an update for Derek Stepan. He will miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury. This comes after he was initially hurt and ruled out indefinitely late last month. He will undergo surgery and prepare for 2021-22. Joshua Clipperton the The Canadian Press announced the update Tuesday morning.
#Sens announce Derek Stepan will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) March 2, 2021
Senators Derek Stepan Out For Season
Stepan was having an okay season as a depth piece for the Sens in 2020-21. The 30-year-old had one goal and six points in 20 games at the time of the injury. The 0.30 points per game is a dip from previous years, but it seemed as though the veteran was experiencing some bad luck. Evolving Wild’s model has Stepan at 0.68 expected goals per 60 minutes compared to an actual figure of .2/60. A career-low 2.3 percent shooting percentage also reflects a tough start for a player who regularly scored 50 or more points for five consecutive seasons.
The New York Rangers originally drafted Stepan in the second round of the 2008 Draft and watched the Minnesota native turn into a very productive option. He scored a total of 128 goals and 360 points in 515 games as a Ranger. New York traded Stepan along with Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes in 2017 in exchange for Anthony DeAngelo and a first-round pick that became Lias Andersson. Arizona then traded Stepan last last year to Ottawa for a second-round pick in this year’s draft.
What This Means for the Future
This injury probably ends Stepan’s tenure in Ottawa. He will be a free agent when the year ends and the Senators have plenty of younger players they can use as replacements. The team is already doing perfectly fine without the veteran, so his absence only accelerates some of the internal promotions.
Stepan seems like he should have very little trouble getting a job in 2021-22 if he’s healthy. He can point to a strong history derailed playing for some below-average teams. He is an experienced centre who can score and win faceoffs at a solid rate. The main concern is how much the cap ceiling changes for the coming year.