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Assessing Chris Kreider’s impact next season

Jul 17, 2012, 6:50 PM EDT

New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils - Game Six Getty Images

Following Chris Kreider‘s NHL debut, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella said: “Who knows what happens next year with him?” The team was so excited to sign him that an exec literally camped out to sign Kreider to his first contract, but his role remains a wild card.

Kreider’s boasts impressive size while his speed and instincts were also evident at times during his first playoff run. Overall, Kreider scored five goals and seven points in those 18 contests (including two game-winners) while registering a -4 rating and averaging 13:09 minutes per game. His five goals also broke a record for players who began their careers in the postseason.

It’s unclear how that will translate into a full season of play, although training camp might allow Tortorella a chance to provide some lessons he put off months ago.

“We’re not doing a lot of teaching and a lot of structure with him. It’s just the wrong time,” Tortorella said. “There’s enough things going through his head where we just want him to play. He’s had some breakdowns away from the puck. Those are things we’ve tried to teach a little bit but not too much.”

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  1. villi5ed - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    His “role remains a wild card?” No it doesn’t. He will get top six minutes, will undoubtedly have highs
    and lows, and with his size and speed and release will develop into a force for a lot of years. Not saying
    he is the next Bobby Hull, but the guy’s skills are first-rate and he has a good head, and all indications
    are that he will be an impact (60-70 points per year) player within a couple seasons.

    • stakex - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      Absolutely right.

      Kreider will certainly be a top six forward with the Rangers this season. After all, they didn’t blow the first year of his rockie contract for the hell of it. The Rangers see him as a top player right now, now years from now. His role is not in question.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      It sounds like you’re comment came from knowing the game and understanding what player development is all about….unfortunately these are the qualities that preclude you from being a hockey writer

  2. stakex - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    You know, I watched two of the Rangers/Devils games live… and the most impressive looking player on the ice in terms of speed/ability with the puck wasn’t Richards, Gaborik, Kovelchuck, or Parise. It was hands down, no doubt about it Chris Kreider. The kid is a standout talent. The argument could be made that was helped by the fact he played less then all those guys in the playoffs, but I don’t know about that. He has the hands, the speed, and the shot to be a 30-40 goal scorer in the NHL.

    Will he ever realize that potential? If you knew the answer to that right now you would be making a ton of money working as an NHL scout… but I’m certainly glad the Rangers have him. Should be interesting to see how well Kreider develops over the next couple seasons.

  3. mclovinhockey - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    His role will be a great piece for Nash
    Just kidding, the rangers are not morons… Top 6 def…

  4. rockthered1286 - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    He’s clearly good. No denying that. But didn’t that same conversation take place after Steppan broke into the NHL with a hat trick? (who mind you is still good just not what they hyped him up to be just yet). Give him a full season. Let teams figure out his tendencies and weaknesses (if any) and lets reassess him then. And before you ask, yes that’s how I feel about Holtby for my Caps. He’s not winning a Vezina in 2012-13 but give him a full season to see if he’s more like a Kolzig for us or another filler between the pipes (although I’m thinking he’ll at least be a starter for years to come).

    Best of luck to Kreider. Always good to see young talent develop.

    • barkar942 - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM

      Holtby reminds me of when Lundqvist came into the league. He was backing up Weeks and when Weeks went down to injury, Hank stepped right in and you pretty much knew how good he was early on. I think Holtby will be the next star goalie in Washington.

  5. jeffk143 - Jul 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Chris Kreider showed signs of brilliance and energy, scored some goals, and has lots of potential. He also consistently lost his defensive assignments, and was a minus 4, and was directly responsible for missing the coverage on too many goals. These are things he will learn over time. As a Ranger fan, I wish 30-40 goals and 70-80 points. He only played vs 3 teams, Sens, Caps, and Devils, not the nhl’s elite. There are many teams around the league that will make him uncomfortable, so we really don’t know anything yet. His speed will create chances, but after this offseason he will have to play the system better, he scored those goals while leaving his position, staying up high. I think our system does need a bit of changing, but he was a minus 4 because of it. I’d be shocked to see him put up 30 goals in the 1st year, never playing an 82 game season, all I hope is that he learns the system and plays hard every night and stays healthy.

  6. drez146 - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Hopefully Torts doesn’t ruin this guy, some coaches deal with young talent well…I’m not convinced that he will have the patience to let Kreider develop over a long grinding season

    • dirtydave6986 - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Clearly you’ve never seen a Rangers game in the past few years. Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Michael Del Zotto, Carl Hagelin…Torts lets young players thrive

  7. fortwaynekomets - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    I can’t believe how well Chris Krieder delivered during these playoffs. I heard some hype of him on NBC but man he sure came through and took the team by surprise! I can’t wait to see how he does this year NOW that the pressures on ;)

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