Managing expectations for Chris Kreider’s rookie season

July 5, 2012, by

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.

Categories : Offseason, Prospects


  1. Mikeyyy says:

    Throw the kid in the fire….he looks up to the task….and he didn’t look like he lacked confidence. One of the true traits of a elite player.

  2. Sioux-per-man says:

    That only 1 goal every 4 games. Good luck keeping him out of the net that much. You forgot to add in the multiple goal games, an his time on the power play. Let the kid play hockey and have some fun. He will score 25 easily and push 30 before the end of the season. I see his potential at a 25-25 50 pt season I he lands a permanent spot on the power play. And with Gabby down in the beginning that almost a given.

  3. JimBob says:

    So why is everyone clamoring to gut the team of young players and draft choices for Nash ?? Nash will score 30 goals and Kreider will score 25….so for 5 goals, what are people thinking ?? It is not (5 goals) worth losing Mcd, Dubi, Step, maybe AA and a 1st rounder. Think about it ! I say stay the course and use within organization talent for this coming year.

  4. Walt says:

    Chris came into the play-offs, and got white hot! That stated, every team that we play this year will be keying on the kid, because he is now a known commodity! With Gabby out for an extended period of time, Chris will skate with a defensive shadow at his side, until Gabby’s return.

    Now consider how this kid is built, skating ability, speed, he will crack the 25 goal ceiling, if not more, even with all the attention he will receive.

    Ladies, and gentlemen, I want to introduce the 2013 Calder Winner, Chris Kreider!

  5. ranger17 says:

    very good post . See what the kids can do , or just sign a free agent . Giving away the kids is a huge mistake, remember Rick Middleton , for 30 goal scorer Ken Hodge . Try an see what Miller Thomas and the rest of the kids can do in training camp, Nash will still be in Columbus ,nobody wants to give up the farm for him , and Howson will not be in Columbus after this year

  6. Sioux-per-man says:

    All the teams in our division took a step back, the devils won’t even make the playoffs without Parise.

    Rangers add Kreider, Staal, & Hagelin at the BEGINNING of the year. Players that didn’t start on the team last year.

    Dubi will bounce back to his “normal” self. I still believe he has 25-25 50 point potential. DZ landed on his feet last year after an off year, there is no reason Dubinski can’t. He loves being a Ranger, if he’s wants to stay a Ranger he has to put up points.

  7. MBN says:

    This is a very good article. Nice going Kevin. I am sure many Ranger fans are hoping., no, expecting, at least 25 goals from Kreider in 2012-2013, if not 30 or more. I would not be surprised if there are folks out there that may even expect 40 this year.

    I am also a believer in Kreider’s abilities. I truly believe the Rangers have a future stud on their hands, and he is only a baby now. Wait until he is 25-27, and in his prime.

    But to expect instant success and 30 goals this season is slightly unfair. While Chris did play well during the playoffs, it will be difficult to expect him to go through a long season, with all the ups and downs, and still excel at a very high scoring pace. Not impossible, in fact, far from impossible. Just unlikely.

    I would be very satisfied with 20-25 goals this season, as long as he improves his overall game.

  8. Scully says:

    Let’s think of it this way for a second… Derek Stepan (who no one denies is an incredible talent in his own right) potted 21 goals his rookie season while averaging 16.5 minutes of ice time. IMHO if Kreider is given the same ice time that Stepan received his rookie season he can score 30. He’s that damn talented…

    I agree with Walt, he definitely will be garnering a lot of defensive attention with Gaborik out. Yet, at the same time, you can’t move him off the puck unless you double team him anyway, which will allow him to feed open team mates. If you give him room he’ll out skate you or rifle one over your goalie’s shoulder.

    On top of that, how many goals will Callahan bang home on the doorstep thanks to Kreider… I’m thinking at least 15 just from that. Kreider’s that good. Hell if you put Dubi with him you might get Dubi’s bounce back season just like that (remember dubi is pretty darn strong on the puck himself)… I think most of us would love to see a Dubi centering Cally and Kreider line.

  9. Chris F says:

    Kreider posted 5 goals in his very first 18 games. That’s on pace for 22 goals during a regular 82 game season.

    Take into account that Kreider accomplished in the playoffs of all places, and you have to assume that his production shouldn’t slump playing regular season games. I predict 25+ goals.

  10. Dave says:

    Torts has a history of not throwing his kids on the top line right away. I’d expect Kreider to start off on a 2nd or 3rd line and work his way up.

  11. ranger17 says:

    I say we either sign a free agent or just stay the course . Drading any of the kids will not help it will only leave other holes to fill

  12. Rangers407 says:

    Kreider starts out as the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. Looking for 25 – 30 goals. This kid has it all – size, speed and scoring. Reminds me of Eric Lindros (Flyers version, not the Rangers version).

    Okay to sign a free agent like Doan. Not worth busting up the team for Nash. Also, let’s see if one of the kids can crack the lineup like Hagelin did last year.