Which other prospects could one day join Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and the rest of the young Rangers on Broadway?
Blueshirt Bulletin will be tracking the progress of the next wave of youngsters as they compete and develop this season in the Canadian junior leagues, college and abroad.
Below is a compilation of scouting reports, buzz and analysis by scouts and hockey experts on Chris Kreider.
We’ll update this as the season unfolds with the latest news at the very bottom of this post.
Drafted: 2009 (1st round, 19th overall)
Team: Boston College Eagles, NCAA
2009-2010 stats: 17g, 9a, 40gp, 20PIM, +25
2010 World Junior Championship: 6g, 1a, 7gp, 2PIM, +6
2010 World Championship: 1g, 1a, 6gp, 0PIM, +3
2010-2011 stats: 11g, 12a, 32gp, 37PIM, +0
2011 Beanpot tournament: Named tournament MVP
2011 World Junior Championship: 4g, 2a, 6gp, 0PIM, +0
2011 World Championship: 2g, 1a, 7gp, 6PIM, +1
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Scouting report entering the season from Blueshirt Bulletin staff writer and author of The Prospect Park, Jess Rubenstein:
“Another case of a prospect who puts the team ahead of personal goals and agenda. We have one criticism which is SHOOT THE PUCK CHRIS as we have seen that when Kreider shoots the puck at least 4 times a game he will put up points. We also love how Kreider showed the courage of his own convictions by turning the Rangers down. Getting his education is important to him and he backed it up by saying no to the Rangers then taking a very heavy credit load this past summer. Toss in coming back from a freak broken jaw 3 weeks before anyone had projected tells us about the fire inside of him.” (8/28/11)
What they’re saying:
THN Yearbook - "Speedster is projecting as a top-line player in NHL."
Leslie Treff, Hockey’s Future (9/16/10) - “Kreider is a speedy forward, who for the most part has been playing on left wing for Boston College. A prototypical power forward, Kreider has shown his speed, and scoring ability in his freshman year with the Eagles. A clutch player who has become very responsible on both ends of the ice.”
Chris Peters, United States of Hockey (USA Hockey) (12/15/10) – “Kreider may be one of the fastest players in the world. He certainly is in this age group. He’s not an entirely complete player, but he is getting there. Needless to say, his speed is going make it tough for defensemen on any team. USA Hockey thought so highly of him that he was named to the U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2010 IIHF World Men’s Championship in Germany. So he’s played against top level talent and he’s won a national title at Boston College. This guy knows pressure and he’ll be ready to answer for the U.S. I’m told he had a slow start at BC this year, but is beginning to turn it up.”
Jess Rubenstein, The Prospect Park (2/15/11) - “We want to see him become a little more selfish and do like he did against Northeastern which was to shoot the heck out of the puck. We will take 2 goals on 8 shots any day over no points and just 2 shots as he did against Providence on Friday.
Nobody not Derek Stepan, not Christian Thomas not anyone on the current Ranger roster has all of the tools that Chris Kreider has. But at the same time no prospect is more raw and in need of more patience shown than Kreider.”
Jon Blum, Hockey’s Future (4/4/11) – “Sitting in exactly the same position, #23, as he did in the last edition of our Top 50 rankings is New York Rangers prospect, Chris Kreider. The speedy forward turned in a solid season for a Boston College team ranked second in the nation during the regular season. Kreider's performance with the U.S. squad at the 2011 World Junior Championship added to what has been a steady 2010-11 season for the Boxford, Massachusetts native.”
Dan David, ’20 in 20’ Prospects Series (6/13/11)– “Read about the 6-foot-3, 217-pound Chris Kreider in print or online publications that cover NHL prospects, or look at his remarkable accomplishments over two years since the Rangers were fortunate enough to draft him, and you will have a strong sense that Kreider possesses the talent and tools to become a key piece of the young core with the Blueshirts.”
“First there is his speed. It is world-class by all accounts and fuels much of his game, particularly when combined with his extremely high level of fitness and imposing size. The 2011 Future Watch issue raved about that speed, projecting him as "a top-line forward, whose game reminds scouts of Eric Staal."
Jeff Gorton, Rangers Assistant Director, Player Personnel (6/13/11) – “He’s got size, strength, speed, and he can really shoot a puck. His speed is so exceptional and there aren’t too many guys like him that can do all of that, but he’s got that quick release….Any time he’s been given an opportunity to be ‘the guy’ he has excelled.”
Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus [Ranks Kreider as the 2nd best Rangers prospect] (9/9/11) – “The Good: Kreider is a very athletically-gifted forward who has an all-world combination of speed, power and shot. You don't need to be much of a scout to know that Chris Kreider can skate. In fact, several sources have told me that they think Kreider right now could be one of the best skaters in the NHL, and I would have to agree. He's an explosive, dynamic mover with a very rapid yet powerful stride, allowing him to accelerate at an elite level. Kreider has an above-average physical game as he possesses a desirable frame and uses it well. He's aggressive on the forecheck, physically takes his assignments on the backcheck, and is a pain in the rear to get off the puck. In one viewing, I saw a large defenseman try to check Kreider on the rush only to see Kreider simply bowl him over and continue his drive to the net. He has a plus shot and is a very deadly goal-scorer, with an extremely accurate wrist shot and the ability to score from way out. He's decent with the puck and has the ability to be a solid distributor.
The Bad: Kreider has all the raw hockey tools to be a first line forward if not an All-Star caliber forward, but his hockey sense is just so, so bad. On the 20-80 scale, I'd likely grade it anywhere from a 30 to a 35 grade. His decision-making is poor, his reads are poor, his positional play is poor, he consistently makes horrid passes and he just truly lacks a significant feel for the game. His defensive game has shown some improvement, but a lot of that is due to his physical game and his on-ice work ethic. “
Grant Sonier, ESPN Insider (9/4/11) – [Ranks Kreider as the 10th best prospect in hockey] “He has been criticized at times for not producing enough or bringing enough consistent intensity to his game, but for me that is more because of the fact that when you watch him play, you see so much potential in him.”
Jim Cerny, BlueshirtsUnited.com (9/1/11)– “Kreider certainly looked to fit in quite well with the NHL talent he skated with on Thursday. The 20 year-old Kreider displayed his trademark elite-level skating ability during drills and the scrimmage, along with some neat offensive moves during the 6-on-6 scrimmage. And he proved to be in top condition, too, during the sprints and endurance skating Callahan called for at the end of the workout.”
(9/16/11) Corey Pronman at Hockey Prospectus rates Kreider #70 among the top 100 NHL Prospects for 2011-2012.
(9/19/11) TSN— “The biggest chip in the Rangers' pocket is probably Boston College winger Chris Kreider. The 20-year-old was a big part of the U.S. junior team that sent Canada home with a silver medal in 2010 and will eventually factor into the team's talented two-way crop of forwards.”
(9/27/11) Hockey’s Future—[Ranked #1 in Top 20 Rangers Prospects list] “For the third time, Chris Kreider is the top prospect in the Rangers' organization. The incredibly fast forward, with excellent size and hands, is now in his junior year at Boston College. As one of the more experienced players on the Eagles' squad, he has played at the international level as well as in the NCAA championships. Kreider is expected to put up big numbers this season in what should be his final year of college hockey. An imposing figure on the ice, Kreider is one of the fastest skaters for any man his size in any of the NHL team's system. Expected to become a power forward on the left side for New York, Kreider should get a long look in the fall of 2012, but will more likely begin his professional career in the AHL with a possible call-up during next season.”
(10/5/11) The United States of Hockey-- "If there’s a faster player in college hockey than Kreider, I have yet to see him. Kreider’s offensive game continues to improve to match his elite-level skating. The fact that Kreider is still in college is actually quite surprising, but also a very smart move on the player’s part.
This may be Kreider’s last kick at the college can, so expect a big year out of the junior. He has yet to produce eye-popping numbers in college, but with two years of experience under his belt, and hopefully a healthy season, he’ll break out.
Whether he produces or not, Kreider will be one of the most exciting players in college hockey this season."
(10/7/11) Hockey’s Future—“While his numbers may seem underwhelming, Kreider's play wasn't. He has begun to really round out his game, and where that was particularly evident was on the defensive side. Kreider utilizes his tremendous speed not only in transitioning, but quite effectively in getting to loose pucks in the defensive zone as well. This has enabled Kreider to be stronger in penalty-killing situations as well as five-on-five. He'll be among those that the Eagles will be counting on for stepped up offensive production this season.”
(10/7/11) College Hockey News—“With the help of his coaches at BC, Kreider has developed into one of the best two-way forwards in Hockey East. His blazing speed might stand out the most (he was the fastest skater at the 2009 draft combine), but Kreider makes just as much — if not more — of an impact with everything else he does. He wins 1-on-1 battles and protects the puck down low. He backchecks hard and rarely gets caught out of position. He can score a goal on the power play one shift and block a shot on the penalty kill the next.”
(10/9/11) Dave Starman, CBS Sports Network—“Chris Krieder of BC is taking over this game. Kid is a pro in a college uniform. What a player!”
(10/10/11) Hockey’s Future— [Ranked #27 in NHL’s Top 50 Prospects list] “Now in his third season as a member of the Boston College Eagles, Kreider is a power forward, with excellent speed and good hands. Kreider was drafted out of high school by the New York Rangers, and since that time has played in the World Junior Championships for the United States, as in well as the Men's World Championships. This is expected to be Kreider's final season with the Eagles, after which he will compete for an NHL roster spot next fall.”
(10/29/11) The Prospect Park—“We will sound like a broken record but when Chris Kreider (2009 1st) gets more than 4 shots in a game then good things will happen. They sure did happen when Chris Kreider put up a 2-1-3 night to lead top ranked Boston College to a 6-3 win over UMass/Lowell.
Kreider had 6 shots on goal as he earned the game's first star after he was involved in 3 straight Boston College goals. When Chris Kreider plays like this then there are very few people who can stop him which is a big reason why we make a big deal when Kreider only gets a shot or 2 in a game.”
(11/1/11) Russ Cohen, via Blueshirt Banter—“ He is a leader on and off the ice and he has the necessary grit to play in the NHL. He carries himself like a pro and all of these experiences will benefit him when he's ready to play at the NHL level, and that time is coming.
He was a first rounder and he should live up to the billing and then some. He has a well above-average wrist shot, which looks to be an important offensive tool for the Boxford, Massachusetts native and he's terrific on the power play…
He is on pace to have his finest season yet and that means the Rangers could sign him when his college season ends if they choose to do so. He will be 21 in April, which means he could get some brief time with Connecticut for sure.
At the end of the day, because of the Rangers log jam at the center position, he could end up playing the wing. His success in the face-off circle will probably decide this but for now he is a very versatile player who can play a variety of roles."
(11/5/11) The Prospect Park—“Chris Kreider is one of those players who when you watch him take over a game you just want to rewind the game and watch it over and over.
Kreider was involved in all 3 of those goals and then in the 3rd period showed us something we have been waiting to see for 3 years. We saw some snarl out of him as Kreider even showed us some temper when Maine tried to push him around and Kreider pushed back.
Kreider had a goal and 2 assists in earning his 2nd straight 3 point game as well as his 2nd straight ‘first star’.”
(11/15/11) Hockey’s Future—“With his size and speed, Kreider may be the power forward that has eluded New York for years."
(12/21/11) The Prospect Park-- "Strange when a 12-11-23 season at the halfway point is not good enough but in the case of Kreider we feel that way. 12 goals in 18 games is not going to be good enough for a 1st line LW as Kreider is projected to be.
First Half- We focused on Kreider being more active on the offensive end linking his shots on goal to his goal output. On games where Kreider has 4 shots on goal then we can just about guarantee a goal but when he has less than 4 then odds of him getting any points drops dramatically.
Strengths: Size, skill and 2 way game as we see in Kreider a player who can dominate games at both ends. Never gets any kind of credit for his defensive game but we would not have any problem asking him to kill a Ranger penalty tomorrow.
Has to be "gang defended" as his skating skill is going to beat most defenders. When he sets up then it is almost impossible for him to be moved out.
Concerns: When Boston College has lost this season it was because the opposition did not give them any room to move let alone breathe. Able to get under his skin so he will take bad penalties.
Second Half: Boston College found out the hard way that when you are at the top everyone wants to knock you off. Kreider needs to take over games at crunch time and if need be toss that BC system away.
Take the game to people and force them to play how you want not the other way around. Again with us it is going to come down to how many shots Kreider takes as even 4 is not enough.
We look at who is ahead of Kreider in the NCAA scoring race and honestly Kreider is just as good if not better than most ahead of him. Dominate Chris, just dominate."
( 12/22/11) Dave Starman (CBS Sports) via SNYRangersBlog-- "I don’t think there is a ceiling for this kid and he can be as good as any player coming out of college in recent history. I think he can be a legitimate elite top six forward in the NHL because he is big, strong and might be the fastest player ever to play at BC. He has an NHL shot, wrist and slap shot, he is good in traffic and he is humongous so he wins battles on the wall and you can’t move him from the front of the net.
He has probably exceeded some expectations but his development pattern has been really good. Now he is good away from the puck, good in his own end and he can get the puck and give it back. When he gets the puck with a little bit of space it’s lights out. I think he is going to be a star.”