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Kreider Doing Things His Way And Could Be Worth The Wait



Chris Kreider


Chris Kreider

After yesterday’s informal skate Chris Kreider spoke with Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com.

Kreider’s surprise appearance at the skate and comments to Cerny were both enlightening and reassuring and should calm those that are worried about the left wing’s future.

Kreider, 20, has come under fire from many who wanted him to sign with the Rangers this summer and light up Broadway this season.  Even members of Rangers’ brass made it clear that they would’ve preferred to see Kreider leave college and accelerate his pro development.

But the BC junior has been adamant about returning to school for a third year and hasn’t shown the sense of urgency to play in the NHL that many would like.  Kreider’s circuitous route to the pros has been scrutinized even further since the Rangers’ drafted fellow American J.T. Miller, who has told anyone that would listen that he wants to play just one year in the OHL before turning pro.

But every player is different and Kreider has his reasons for staying in school.  This is a mature young man that values his education, his time in college and his BC Eagles team.  His New York debut has been delayed a bit longer than we expected, but it’s possible that Kreider and the Rangers will be better for it.

Impatience with Kreider is justifiable; not only is he two years removed from being a first-round pick and hasn’t taken the next step towards being a pro, but his production at college has been underwhelming.  Although those are obvious reasons for concern, there are explanations for both.

Kreider doesn’t want to pursue his NHL career until he feels he’s truly ready, and he doesn’t believe he’s there yet.  He’s been part of a great program at BC and has been dedicated to playing two-way, team-first hockey.  At the World Junior Championships and IHF World Championships we’ve seen what Kreider can do in flashes, but consistency has been an issue.  Kreider knows it, and he’s being very honest with himself in admitting that he’s not ready for the pro game just yet.  That’s a very mature approach for a prospect and it could serve Kreider particularly well when he turns pro.

The desire from both the organization and the fans to see Kreider in Ranger blue is totally understandable.  He is considered to be one of the top prospects in hockey, has the potential to be a star and is thought to be on par with the best skaters in the world right now.  He could be a game-changer for the Rangers, a missing piece that drives an emerging young franchise to even greater heights.

But Kreider shouldn’t be faulted for doing this on his terms, especially since there’s a pretty good chance he’s making a strong decision.  Just because his NHL debut has been put off longer than many would like doesn’t mean he’s not going to be everything that we hoped.  And while the college route can seem like a slow development path, remember that Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan went from the University of Wisconsin to the NHL in just a few short months last year.

No, the college schedule isn’t as grueling as the Canadian junior leagues, but Kreider’s conditioning is said to be very strong.  If he chooses to turn pro next season it will be because he feels he’s ready, and we’ll discover then whether he was worth the wait.  There’s still plenty of reason to believe he will be. 

 

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Posted by Kevin Baumer | September 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm
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New York Rangers VS Edmonton Oilers
Sunday, December 14, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 0 1 - 2
Oilers 0 0 0 - 0








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