Born June 18, 1990 (age 21) in Hastings, Minnesota, USA
Center for the New York Rangers
We love the up and coming talent! Hockey is truly in Derek’s blood – his dad was picked by the Rangers in the 1985 draft! Young Derek had the privilege of being one of many future NHL players to play for Shattuck-St. Mary’s (two of which are fellow MotD Sidney Crosby and Zach Parise). After being drafted by the Rangers in 2008, he chose to attend the University of Wisconsin. After two years and two respectable seasons with the Badgers, he signed a contract with the Rangers in 2010. That was also the year he captained the US team in the World Juniors, and the team won gold!
When Derek made his debut on October 9, 2010, he did something very rare. In the course of the Rangers’ 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres, he not only got his first goal, but he got his first hat trick! He became the first rookie in team history to do so, and he joined a very elite group – the only other players in the league to achieve that feat were Montreal’s Alex Smart in 1943, Quebec’s Réal Cloutier in 1979 and Dallas’ Fabian Brunnström in 2008. For that and his outstanding play, he was named to the All-Star roster in 2011. When the season ended, Derek joined teammates Ryan McDonagh on the US team at the World Championships. This season he already has 7 goals and 13 assists, so you know the future, short and long-term, will be very bright indeed!