Read: Being Happy Derek Stepan Is Back

StepanDerek Stepan will participate in his first practice with the Rangers on Sunday after signing a new contract on Thursday.

Rick Nash, who Stepan centered for parts of last season, told the team’s website that having Stepan back in the lineup gives the Rangers an “elite” NHL center and a big piece to their puzzle.

Ryan McDonagh said that Stepan’s intelligence on the ice as well as his play in all three zones make him a big asset for the team.

Henrik Lundqvist added that it was “great news” that Stepan had signed and could now focus on the season.

Alain Vigneault told the Daily News that he wants to see what Stepan can do and seeing where he can fit him in. He said that Stepan being a right handed shot helps in all facets of the game, PK, PP and faceoffs.