The USA U20 World Junior Team, sporting Rangers prospects Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Bourque, absolutely dominated Latvia last night, winning 12-1. The three Rangers prospects combined for eight points in the rout. Stepan, captain of Team USA, chipped in two goals and two assists, Kreider had a hat trick, and Bourque added an assist.
It is great to see that Stepan is not only dominating play, but the team captain as well. This pick may very well be one of the greatest steals of the 2008 draft. Who else came from the 2008 draft? Michael Del Zotto. I say management did a good job thus far with that draft.
When the Rangers selected Kreider, it was met with mixed reaction. There was no denying the skill, but Kreider hadn’t played with tough competition at that point. Now, with Kreider scoring at the World Junior level, some of those doubters (including myself) have been silenced for now.