Weighing The Decision To Turn Pro

August 25, 2011, by

Everyone knows both John Tortorella and Assistant Coach Mike Sullivan threw tons of praise at Chris Kreider this past year and both coaches made it known via the media (Andrew Gross) that they would have liked Kreider to turn pro.

Soon thereafter, it didn’t take too long for Rangers fans to debate whether or not Kreider should turn pro after just two years of college.  And after reading most of your comments during that time, it looked like things were pretty split.

Kreider certainly made a tough decision, a decision only he and his family can ultimately make. However, if I were his friend or his agent, I’d probably would have told him to go for it.  He’s performed well while he has been at BC and he’s done great things at the international level.

He may not have had the sexiest stats, but he certainly has pro speed, pro hands, and most importantly a pro body (6’1 200lbs) that can probably handle the physical grind of 82 games against men. Ultimately what he’ll need to work on is his hockey IQ, which could have been better served under the tutelage of Rangers/Hartford personnel.

At college, especially a competitive one like BC, the emphasis can often be more about winning than becoming what it takes to be an NHLer. In the end Kreider made his decision to return to school, but there is a lesson in all of this for future Rangers prospects.

If education is the concern with these youngsters, you can always sell them on what Jack Johnson and Ryan Miller did and take classes during the offseason. The scholarship of course is gone, but hey your signing bonus should take care of that pricey education anyway.

I’d also push these kids to get their names on a contract for insurance reasons. In case there is some god awful scenario where someone gets injured and can’t play anymore, college will pay them zipo.  If a kid gets injured while playing at the NHL or AHL level, he can cash out on a (seven) figure insurance settlement that would set them up for life (Dan Blackburn anyone?). I know that may sound trivial or anecdotal, but hang out around hockey rinks and front offices enough and you will meet more former standouts who got injured than one can count.

As far as whether or not the pressures of being a pro would kill their development ultimately depends on what’s going on in between the ears of these kids.  Sure MDZ and Grachev have had tough times and moronic fans prematurely called for their heads.

But you know what?  Ultimately, if they come out of it strong they will be better off for it. If you can survive New York City scrutiny, you can conquer anything.  If you don’t believe me, ask Mark Messier.  He had to slay the “dragons and demons” before ending the curse.

Get that sword ready Mr. Kreider, we will be seeing you soon.

Categories : Prospects, Rants


  1. Walt says:

    Chris Kreider made the right decision for himself. He played at a prep school, where he was the biggest, fastest, and probably the strongest kid on the block. He is learning the game, and how to win at BC, which is a darn good school, and not just for hockey. He also is learning how to play as a team guy, as opposed to being the guy flying solo.

    This kid has his head screwed on straight. He is a strong believer of an education, and comes from a family who encouraged him to get a good one at that. Chris will come out of BC with a degree, playing a team concept type of a game, and fully developed physically to meet the chalange of playing in the NHL. Work hard kid, get the sheep skin, and then come to the big show, and earn as much as you can, we will be pulling for you!!!!!

  2. Zen says:

    Let’s just hope he comes out after this season, so we don’t have to deal with a Calgary – Tim Erixon scenario. Taking classes during the summer seem to be leading up to him leaving after this season, but you never know.

  3. Dave says:

    A one time, six figure settlement is enough to set someone up for life? Very un-Suit-like comment from you.

    • Chris says:

      100k – that’ll buy Suit, what, 30 high end suits? He’d run out of money quicker than Amy Winehouse in a back street drug mart…

      • The Suit says:

        that was actually a type-o haha, i was thinking more of the money Danny got, which was high 7 figures, but I can’t add at 630 in the morning

    • scrangersfan says:

      Hay Dave, read that story again and you will see that the suit wrote seven figures not six.I for one would be happy to start my life with seven figures and bet most of us would.

  4. Mikeyyyy says:

    Teams should be able to offer education packages in their contracts as incentive.

    If in the event an athlete is injured they have their education paid for. If you play and are injured badly you can still go to school. If you come to play and get waived you still get to go to school.

    • Matt J says:

      This isn’t the army where you do your four years and then go to college. Payment for college isn’t the problem.

      I think it has to be the way it is because the schools don’t want kids to say oh if I make the team I won’t be back. It’s not fair to them.

  5. voidoid says:

    A lot of college athletes with pro aspirations take out insurance policies on themselves – it’s prevalent in football especially, not certain about hockey. For all we know Kreider and his family have already taken that step.

    Also, he’s apparently stacked his course load so that he will graduate this spring and turn pro (a year early) with degree in hand.

  6. Ed says:

    moronic to prematurely call for grachev’s head? Hindsight actually tells us the moronic thing was the blind faith that he would eventually turn it around. Turns out the team that values him the most of the 30 only values him at the level of a 3rd round pick….

    • The Suit says:

      I don’t condone blind faith or calling for a 20 year olds head, there can be a middle ground ya know…

  7. John Delfino says:

    Look, as a student at Boston College, no matter how great the idea of turning pro may be, BC is an unbelievable place to be–ESPECIALLY for a hockey player. Little to no responsibility, 24/7 with friends, ladies hanging on your every word, and (I can’t say for sure but most likely) all for free. Why leave that behind for a world of pressure, responsibility, and rent before you have to?

    Not to mention that hockey doesn’t last forever, and it’s an unbelievable place to get an education.

    It’s easy to forget, but he’s not just a hockey player or even a valued prospect–he’s a person.

  8. Sioux-per-man says:

    Kreider made the right decision. I wish Miller would have made the same decision.
    Yes he’s already won a National Championship, and a gold Medal, why not a Stanley Cup next.

    Kreider will get another year to get into NHL shape, Rangers get an “extra” year on his entry level deal, and he gets the leadership experience as the “go to” guy on his team this year.

    Lucky for me I get to see him play right away this year. BC will play at the Ralph on Oct 7-8th, and hopefully will play against the Fighting Sioux on the 8th.

    I was looking forward to Miller vs Kreider, but that’s not going to happen. Hopefully he will sign with the Rangers, as soon as there season is done this year. Perhaps a loss in the Frozen Four to the Sioux. 🙂