Forward Derek Stepan announced his retirement from the NHL on Tuesday following 13 seasons with four different teams.
Stepan, 33, made an immediate impact to start his NHL career. He became the fourth player in league history to record a hat trick in his NHL debut, scoring three times against former Vezina Trophy recipient Ryan Miller in the New York Rangers’ 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 9, 2010.
Stepan spent seven seasons with New York after being selected by the Rangers in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Arguably his best season came in 2013-14, when he recorded a career-best 57 points (17 goals, 40 assists) in the regular season and 15 more (five goals, 10 assists) in the playoffs to help New York advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Stepan totaled 515 points (182 goals, 333 assists) in 890 career games with the Arizona Coyotes (2017-20), the Ottawa Senators (2020-21) and Carolina Hurricanes (2021-23). His teams qualified for the playoffs in 10 of his 13 seasons.
“After 13 years in the NHL, I’ve decided to retire,” Stepan said in a statement released by the NHL Players Association. “I want to thank my family and friends for always supporting me and allowing me to live my dreams. I want to thank the four organizations I had the privilege of playing for, and to my teammates for allowing me to be part of their family.
“Finally, I want to thank the fans, it was an honor to play in front of you. I’m forever grateful for this game and I look forward to the next chapter.”
Stepan finished his career with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 73 games last season with Carolina.
The Hurricanes took to social media to honor Stepan on Tuesday.
“Shine bright in retirement, Step,” the team wrote on Twitter.