Being a draft prospect with some NHL bloodlines is certainly not a losing proposition, but it can sometimes be a burden that buries the prospect under the weight of inevitable comparisons.
For 2012 prospect Zach Stepan, the weight may not be too great since his cousin, forward Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, is only just getting started on his NHL career. But Derek still has managed to establish his NHL bona fides in a relatively short amount of time, so the younger Zach will have a target to aim for as he tries to climb the ladder to the NHL.
As was the case with Derek, Zach Stepan played for the Shattuck St. Mary's midget prep team for two seasons. In 104 games over those two seasons, Stepan racked up 47 goals and added 82 assists for 129 points. While not quite as prolific as his older cousin was at that age, Zach still established himself as a player with some offensive ability as well as a bit of moxie to his game.
Stepan will move on to the USHL next season, where he'll play for the Waterloo Black Hawks. He'll then begin his college career in the fall of 2013 at Ohio State University.
Following his testing session at the 2012 NHL Combine, Stepan took some time to talk to the media about the past season and what is in store for the immediate future.