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Will Kreider vault straight on to the top line?

Rick Nash. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Some people didn’t want Nash at the deadline and those fans got their wish. Until he lands somewhere else however, he will be intensely linked with the Rangers and should they indeed land the uber-talented power forward he’ll be the Rangers de-facto left winger for half a decade.

Enter Chris Kreider. He may have something to say about Nash. In fact, the more big games Kreider has (like the two goal game against Air Force) the less likely it is Glen Sather revisits a possible Nash acquisition. Certainly, the buzz around Kreider in regard to his immediate NHL ability is growing by the game.

Kreider is a man-child that will physically cope with the NHL from day one. However, the Rangers opportunity to win is opening earlier than many anticipated thanks to this season and it’s a legitimate debate to ask what Kreider can bring from day one (and I don’t mean as a guest star in this season’s playoff production).

Look around at some comparables. James Van Riemsdyk and Chris Kreider are both physically similar in stature, both have been strong college performers and both have been hugely anticipated entering the pro ranks. Yet it took van Riemsdyk quite a while to adjust to being a regular contributor at the NHL level and you can argue he joined a more talented team when he joined the Flyers. You could also argue ‘JVR’ still hasn’t quite lived up to his billing consistently.

So what can be expected from Krieder next season? Does the mere presence of world class speed make the difference between his ability to thrive immediately compared to Van Riemsdyk’s entry to the NHL? Will that speed singlehandedly land him a top line assignment and render the Nash debate unnecessary?

Another comparison may be Phil Kessel (bear with me here). Kessel is another player that was strong in the college game and possessed crazy speed as he entered the NHL. Although one dimensional compared to the player Kreider projects to be, many anticipated Kessel’s speed would be the X-factor. It wasn’t and he struggled through an 11 goal, 29 point rookie season.

Kreider appears more mature at this stage of his development. He’s done things his way, at his pace and appears ready for the Rangers. He’s physically better than Kessel and faster than Van Riemsdyk. He’s played at every stage showing improvement and don’t underestimate how his senior internal experience (13 games at World Championships, five points) will help him cope with the pro ranks.

The thing that needs to be remembered however is while Kreider appears ready the Van Riemsdyk and Kessel examples prove that it may not be an overnight success for Kreider. The expectation is huge, the lust after the Cup is growing and Kreider will likely hit some speed bumps along the way.

Is Kreider ready to take over a top six spot on the Rangers? Despite many people expecting it, in all honesty it’s still far too early to tell. So don’t expect the Nash rumours to stop any time soon and let’s not scream mercy the first time Kreider has a two game scoring slump.

20 Responses to “Will Kreider vault straight on to the top line?”

  1. Agentsmith says:

    chris ur posts are doing evrything to piss me off. “from next year”. we’ll see about that. in the coaches presser torts did evrything but say that he is considering adding ck.

    secondly it would prob evolve like hags start at the third work his way up. hey it could take only a few shifts to get the first line.

    • Chris says:

      Smith, read properly. He may very well be in the line up this year for the playoffs but it’s a novelty, it’s being thrown in, in a conpleltely different situation.

      Next yr he’d be a full time roster player, with different demands, expectations and pressures. Different media scrutiny.
      That’s why it’s unfair to expect miracles next yr.

    • Chris says:

      And take a chill pill. Or, if you’re that ‘pissed’ don’t come back to the site. We’re not being held responsible for your heart attack…

      • Chris F says:

        AgentSmith,

        It’s moronic to think that the Rangers would ever bring a college player up to the NHL level for the playoffs. Chris Kreider will not be wearing the red, white and blue this season. See him at camp this summer, at the earliest.

        Seriously, what’s wrong with you people, thinking a 20 year old kid with zero professional hockey experience would be the factor that propels the Rangers to a Stanley Cup Championship.

        I can’t even put myself in the mindset to humor such adolescent pipe-dreams.

  2. Mark says:

    Great post, i agree 100%. I would love to see them bring Kreider along similar to Haglin. Although he seems like a top 6 slam dunk, would it be the worst thing to have a line 2a and a line 2b… This depends on what happens with Anisimov but if he is a Ranger I think they go with the Gabby Richiard Haglin line as their number 1, then Dubi AA and Cally… This way you can pair Krieder and Stepan together since they have already played together in the World tourneys… Maybe put MZA with them if he stays or a Boyle for defensive responsibilites, This is a solid top 3 lines and it gives Krieder a chance to play against the opponets 2nd or 3rd defensive pairing and not the top pair every night. A lot relies on AA stepping up and being our # 2 Center finally but those are a solid 3 lines that opposing teams would need to game plan for. the 4th would be Boyle Prust and Rupp or Feds… seems like a very deep team with some pretty good scoring depth.

    • Zen says:

      My instincts say that a line of CK-Step-Cally will be the team’s 2nd line the majority of the time. It would allow Dubi and AA to play on a 3rd line… where they belong. Who knows what happens, but that makes the most sense to me.

  3. Zen says:

    As much as I want Nash, I find it extremely unlikely to happen. There is no way Sather offers more and it is clear that Columbus is insane enough to stick to their demands. Some other team will give them what they want in the offseason… probably SJ. Nash to NY is dead IMO. I expect all the talk in the offseason to be about Parise and Suter.

    BTW, I do believe Krieder will be in the top 6 immediately and won’t spend a day in Connecticut next season. The organization will give him every opportunity to make the jump.

  4. Walt says:

    I love the potential this kid has, but let’s not put undo pressure to the point he chokes!

    I can see the following lines, assuming that we don’t get either Nash, or Parise:

    Richards, Gabby, Hags
    Stepan, Kreider,Cally
    Boyle, Prust, Dubi
    AA, Rupp, Mitchell or Miller or?

    Now if Parise joins us, then look out for :

    Richards, Gabby, Parise
    Stepan, Hags, Kreider
    Boyle, Cally, Dubi
    AA, Prust, Rupp

    The top two lines will have speed galor, and will create a problem for other teams, as do the Pens, and the third line could score as well. Also look at that third line, they not only could score, but also could shut down any number lines going today, including the cry baby’s, Cindy. Man do I hate that fruit cake. The D will be solid, and I believe we would be odds on favorite for the Cup with that line up!!!!

    • Chris says:

      Kreider will certainly end up in the top 6, nots not a debate, but it’s not a disaster if he doesn’t run riot over the league from
      Day one.

    • Red Stag says:

      The Rangers are going to spend big bucks on Parise so they can put Cally on the third line… I don’t think so! not happening!

  5. Matt says:

    For my fellow Yankee/Ranger fans, can we compair Kreider to Jesus Montero?

    • Dave says:

      It’s tough to compare across sports…but I’d say Kreider is more legit than Montero. Yes, Montero can rake, but he doesn’t really have a position to play, his long term future is not at catcher.

      Power hitting 1B is relatively common…even though Montero is projected to be a big time hitter.

      Kreider does it all for BC, and is projected to do it all for the Rangers.

      • The Suit says:

        You guys really have a prospect named Jesus? Damn, bet that kid comes with high expectations.

        And my Mets have…

        • Matt says:

          eh, we shipped him off to Seattle, haha.

          I hear you Dave, on the player. I should have been more clear…I was comparing the hype and late season addition where Jesus came up and was instantly successful; including in the playoffs.

  6. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I will go out on a limb and say that Kreider will be a Ranger next year. Hagelin with less potential made it in his first year. The team has shown it’s enthusiasm to integrate the kids into the line up. Kreider will be given every opportunity to make the club and I also believe his linemates will be Stepan and Callahan.

  7. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Enough with the Parise and Nash talk,please.

    • Chris says:

      Harlem, until Nash gets dealt (or commits to CBJ) and until Parise signs elsewhere the talk around them will continue unfortunately. The nature of the Rangers as big spenders historically makes them an easy story/link for the media

  8. TeaneckMike says:

    The equation is simple…you can give up a lot for Nash in a trade, get a known commodity that will be a big salary cap hit for a long time, or you save the assets you have and use the money to sign a free agent and/or retain some young talent (and relatively cheaper talent). When you build a successful team in the cap era, you can only keep it together for 2 or 3 years. If they think that Nash is the one missing piece, they will do it. I’d rather have (try for) Parise – what a fit for this system!

  9. rob sahm says:

    i think the rangers should use dubi as trade bait to get another defenseman maybe webber or suter and have kreider come up next season and lets not count out zuccarello for a roster spot he seems like he could add something to our power play. kreider has all the tools size speed and toughness lets see if he can put that together in the nhl.

  10. hull11 says:

    Kreider vaulted to the top line yes- of the Connecticut Whale. Has anyone actually watched a BC game or is Kreider a Brendl-Lundmark-Malhotra pipedream for you? Relying on Larry Brooks for your information or perhaps the Ranger marketing machine? The AHL is roughly twice as fast as college hockey and the NHL twice as fast as the AHL, the playoffs are referred to as a “second season” with a whole lot of truth to that-what, twice as fast as the NHL? and I’m not talking about skating fast-Kreider’s got that in spades. I’m talking about the game yes, but also the mental aspect, the decision making time, the five things going on at once-yes all things being equal he’s got talent-but, quick story…

    when the infamous Brendl was waiting to save the Rangers and bring them the Cup, I was at their training facility at the University of Vermont. He was fat, lazy and spent most of the practise hanging over the boards waiting to throw up. He was their savior?

    Of course, we have an entirely different story here but for what its worth I’ve seen the Beanpot Tournament in person, a couple of games and a number on TV. More than a few times I wondered where was he? and I had to remind myself to watch number 19. Yes, he scored two goals against Air Force-aside from a great goalie they were very forgettable especially against BC.

    Sather has been knocking himself out trying to keep his young talent instead of trading them away-he’s said many times that there’s no guarantee a young guy with promise will turn out and usually its years in the making- if at all. On the other hand he’s said there’s no denying that the promise of an untried talent gives you an open door to big talent producing–now.

    So, listen to all of the good things you hear but remember this-what the management is saying or scheming behind closed doors may be the exact opposite of what your hearing. They want the best team like you but its a “bluff” business, and the more good press their young untried talent gets the more it may rub off on the other teams management-in spite of what their scouts tell them and that might translate into a blockbuster deal.

    Nash is just one high profile player but he may be “damaged goods” meaning stuck in a Eric Lindros-Bobby Clarke cesspool where they ask for the moon but are so pissed off at him that in reality he’s going nowhere. To find the real action if you want to find “low hanging fruit” to pick look for an owner or upper management with an unhappy fanbase and/or a situation where they clean house, like Montreal or I see Toronto on the brink-I’m not saying anything will happen of any kind but on the other hand…