It’s hard not to view Chris Kreider as a superstar in waiting.
The 21-year old joined the Rangers in the playoffs after three seasons at Boston College and immediately delivered in an enormously pressure packed situation. Kreider tallied five goals in 18 games without so much as a training camp with Coach John Tortorella’s club and by the end of the postseason he had already become the team’s best scoring threat.
Kreider was already a prized prospect, but his seamless integration into New York’s lineup and immediate production did nothing to damper expectations.
It’s hard for even the most pessimistic Rangers’ fan to view Kreider as anything less than a future 25-goal scorer. But what can we expect from Kreider in the immediate future?
Well as talented as Kreider is, the fact remains that only two rookies scored 20 goals in 2011-2012 (Matt Read and Gabriel Landeskog) and only 41 freshmen have done it since the lockout. Only nine rookies have scored more than 30 goals in their since 2005.
So while Kreider may indeed become a deadly weapon, it’s important to remember that even the best goal-scorers develop slowly.
Marian Gaborik’s injury makes Kreider the Rangers’ de facto top scoring threat, but you’d be wise to keep your expectations in check for his rookie year.
Kreider seems poised for big things, but it could be challenging for him to even approach 20 goals in his first NHL season.