“There are definitely centers that we need to take a long look at during the exhibition season,” said Tortorella. “There is a lot of competition at that position.”John Tortorella to Jim Cerny of the Rangers site
....The way that I see it, it's a battle between Derek Stepan and Erik Christensen for the top line spot and Todd White for any spot. The more and more I think about it, unless he plays a great and impactful 60 minutes in his next pre-season action, I think Stepan will be sent down. Christensen played with more desperation last night and has the previous experience with Gabby. I want Stepan to make the team, I would love to see that part of the Rangers future join at such an early age, but there is so much more to it than that. The idea is that Stepan would be the center the entire season, but he hasn't played more than 41 games, plus international play, in a season so far. Asking a 20-year-old to center the most important line for the team and to play twice as many games is a tough task. He may be able to do it, but Christensen has more NHL experience and could be a more logical answer for this season.
Why not give Artem Anisimov a chance to win the job? He has played well, he says he has more confidence in his game now, he should get some reps with the big boys. I give Todd White credit for wanting to show what he can do out there with his bum shoulder, but he is still just a little off.
Leslie Treff writes about the Rangers number one center spot at Hockey's Future