Sep
29

Reasonable expectations: Filip Chytil

September 29, 2017, by

filip chytil

This is a much needed post, more than any other of the reasonable expectations posts we’ve written here over the past nine (holy crap it’s been nine years) years. After making a big splash at camp and proving he at least belongs in the short term, Filip Chytil was penciled into a second line role, with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello as his flanks.

The good news is that Alain Vigneault recognizes that the kid who is barely 18 years old needs to be put in a position to succeed. With Nash and Zuccarello, he will be able to create offensively and not be the center of attention on the line. Nash and Zuccarello will draw the attention of the opposition, giving Chytil a little more room to work with. Plus, it’s good to have two skilled and seasoned vets with a kid who can’t even buy beer legally yet.

The bad news is that expectations are going to be sky-high for the kid. It seems that most fans expect him to have a Connor McDavid-esque impact, and that’s just not fair to him. McDavid, Jack Eichel, and all players of that ilk are #1 overall picks. Expecting Chytil to produce like that is setting him up for failure.

Chytil’s adjustment to the NHL will play a large role in his success. He did play in the top level Czech league last year at 17 years old, so he’s used to playing against grown men. His size 6′, 180 lbs, isn’t much of a concern either. He’s bottom-heavy, a lot like Jaromir Jagr, and uses his body to protect the puck. He is deceptively strong for his age. That said, it’s still an adjustment.

Another factor will be his special teams minutes. He likely won’t get PK duties, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see him getting significant powerplay time. If he does, then perhaps his expectations go up. But for now, let’s focus on what we should expect at even strength.

At evens, Chytil will make mistakes, especially in the defensive and neutral zones. The key is to not make the same mistake twice. This is critical, as fans are quick to judge off one miscue. I made a ton of mistakes at 18 years old. I’m 33 now and still make a bunch of mistakes. To expect perfection is just unrealistic.

However what we can expect is creative hockey below the hash marks. Chytil is playing with two great offensive minds, and it puts him in a place to succeed. Factor in his own strong hockey IQ –remember how he got himself open to shoot on his preseason OT winner– and we have the potential for big success. I think it’s ok to expect a line of 10-15-25 at even strength from Chytil this year. Powerplay time might add to it.

One thing to note: It’s also fair to expect him to play nine games and then be returned to the Czech Republic. If he doesn’t stand out or looks overwhelmed, nine games is the max he can play before the first year of his ELC is burned. Don’t think the Rangers aren’t aware of that.

For the first time in a long time, the Rangers have a tremendously skilled winger that was selected in the first round. Couple that with Pavel Buchnevich (third rounder), and the Rangers have a pair of young, skilled wingers who have the potential to be great and borderline elite players. But he (they) need time to grow and learn, and setting the right expectations is critical in that growth.

"Reasonable expectations: Filip Chytil", 5 out of 5 based on 30 ratings.
Categories : Players

72 comments

  1. Creature Feature says:

    All great points. I do believe, unless he leads the team in points at the game 9 juncture, he will be sent back. But what if he is the leading scorer? Do they still move him down? Zucc is a point machine and Nash, in his contract year, may be going for the gold ring. IF, big if, after 9 games he has 4 goals and 11 points, what do they do?

    • Randy says:

      if he has 11 points after 9 games, then he is gonna stay on the roster i would imagine

    • Lace says:

      Man, wouldn’t that be great? If the Rangers had an offensive center that’s only 18 years old. If this kid could even score 8 points over that time they should consider keeping him. Personally I think Chytil should have been better off on the 3rd line with sheltered mins against lighter competition. This is going to be games 1-9 rather than games 31-40 but NHL players are savvy. If he makes the smallest mistake with the puck even in the offensive zone it could be going the other way for an odd man rush. Given the alternative or lack-thereof, I would keep him here even if he can put up half a point per game after the 8 games.
      As long as Hes going to play.

      What about Andersson? Even though he was sent down to play. What are our expectations of him? Could he be called up for the next 8 or 9 games if he plays well? We will need a center if Chytil isn’t ready.

      • Lace says:

        That is my concern. I feel like Gorton passed on replacing Stepan with another #2 center and instead elected to go with someone he already had. Who that is I don’t think anyone knows yet but right now without Chytil, we have a hole there in the middle. What once was a strength, is now a weakness of sorts.
        Not sure what they can do. Maybe Miller moves to center. I think he’s a better winger for us, especially since he plays his off side well and we have almost no right handed wingers.

    • Richter1994 says:

      I think that fans are forgetting Anthony Duclair. Started out like a house on fire and then disappeared for many games at a time.

      The problem is that it’s not what an 18 year old will do in games 1 to 9, it’s what they will do in games 40 to 82.

      It is my experience as a long time hockey fan that very young players that have elite skills at the level of McDavid, Matthews, Eichel, Crosby, Malkin, and even Nash at that time have a much better chance to succeed over a long NHL season.

      Is that Chytil? No. Potentially great player? Sure, but on that elite level? No. That level is reserved for the guys that get picked in the top 3 of the draft. Now, if this were NEXT YEAR, where would Chytil have been picked? Probably top 5, so he’s one year away from playing a full NHL season, IMO.

      I think he goes after 9 games. He needs the stamina and physical frame to withstand a full NHL season because he’s not the players I mentioned above who have the skills to overcome their young age at the time.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I think you are probably right and ultimately, that is what’s best for the kid. But the only reason I hesitate on this is, where will that leave the Rangers in terms of the center position? Right now, it looks pretty shaky and we are a Zib or Hayes injury away from maybe being a non-playoff team.

    • Justice says:

      I like this decision to place him with Nash/Zucc. Some would argue he should be lined with the other youth guys like Pavel but that would be too much inexperience in 1 line. When coupled with skilled vets, it gives both them and the team a far better chance to succeed

  2. joe cafardo says:

    …..and they need to be protected!!

  3. Kevin says:

    The 9 game limit doesn’t mean as much as the 40 game limit. Right now if he were to stick all season he’d hit the UFA market at age 25. In some cases it is advantageous to allow a player to play over the 9 game limit, thus burning his first year of his ELC, but not allow the player to reach 40 games and accrue a year of service. unless you are dead set on giving the player a long term extension coming off his ELC, this gives the player only two full seasons of play to demand a higher payout for his “bridge deal”, all while backing up his UFA eligibility until he’s 26.

    Since the Rangers mostly deal with bridge deals… I would not be surprised if they go past 9 games with Chytil.

    • Creature Feature says:

      9th game looks to be Nashville at home. We have a ton of games at home to open the season. I, as a fan want the kid to succeed, so I just hope he is good enough to stay all year. Him and Buch in the top 6 look to give us something to look forward to.

  4. Johnny Red says:

    It’s nice to see us have a good young player come in at such an early age. I think he impressed so much they had to give him a shot. He will play the 9 games and then if he plays well they might keep him for the year. You are right Dave with us not expecting too much. He just turned 18 a few weeks ago. Before I die I want to see a Ranger draft pick become a top 5 NHL star. With our long history of trading picks and bringing stars past their prime this would be nice!

    WE MUST BE PATIENT!

    • Walt says:

      Johnny

      I couldn’t agree with you more. All the garbage about not getting quality players beyond the first 5 picks is just that, garbage.

      On a side note, we just got home from Spain, and I read about Brian Boyle. Get well quickly Brian, your a class act, and there are plenty of us Ranger fans that are pulling for you !

    • Richter1994 says:

      Best Ranger draft choice since Cherapanov (RIP). This should have been the best draft choice since Tarasenko, but I digress. Though Buch deserves strong consideration.

  5. Bloomer says:

    Chytil is a nifty player and starting him between Nash and SuperZuc is a great test of his ability. It’s however a huge step for a 18 year old and a sign of how desperate the Rangers are at trying to fill the gaping hole at center ice.

    • Chris A says:

      I wouldn’t say desperate, I would say a gift (Chytil) fell in their lap and now they are trying to maximize that gift.

  6. Jeff P says:

    [… a tremendously skilled winger … ] – he is a center.

    Looking at other 18 year olds in NHL I came up with the following scenarios:
    Pessimistic Projection – 9 games, 2 points, back to Czechia.
    Realistic Projection – 15 g, 20 a (Jordan Staal, Patrick Marleau, Gaborik)
    Optimistic Projection – 25g, 30 a (Jeff Skinner, Matt Duchene)

    • Mike P says:

      You think 35 points is realistic?

      You’ll be disappointed.

      • Chris A says:

        If Chytil is playing 2nd line minutes most of the year, then yes, 30-40 points is realistic, if slightly ambitious. Rangers were 4th overall in GF, so we know the team can score, and the average Rangers forward posted 42 points last year.

        I wouldn’t be shocked if at least 6 Rangers forwards top 40 points this season. They should have had 8 over 40 last year, but Nash and Mika missed over 40 games combined and finished with 38 and 37 points, respectively.

        • Doug says:

          Exactly. I don’t think he ends up with about 25 points in any scenario.

          If he shows he can play top 6 in the NHL, he’s gonna absorb points by osmosis playing with guys like Nash, Zucc, Kreider, Buch, and Miller. In that case, he could easily end up with 35-40 points.

          On the other hand, if he’s out of place on the top 2 lines, the Rangers will send him back to Europe early so as to let him develop over there. In that case, considering he likely struggled a bit with his stay and probably played no more than 9 games, he’ll probably have about 5 points. The Rangers won’t stick him on the 4th line just to eat minutes without being a legit contributor.

      • Egelstein says:

        Vesey had 27 points last season, and from what I can tell, Chytil seems more skilled offensively, to me. Small sample, of course, preseason games and YouTube reels. I don’t think 35 is completely outlandish for a full season though, especially if he has Zucc and Nash next to him all year. Now, if he makes the nine games plus, has an “inefficient touch” in game fifteen, and AV puts him on the fourth line for an extended period…then yeah, 35 points is definitely not happening. Also, he may wear down, of course – always a question with a player this young and breaking into the NHL without AHL seasons under his belt. Personally, I won’t expect him to hit 35 points…but, I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out if he starts and stays on that line and gets some PP time.

      • sherrane says:

        35 points is below average from a historical perspective IF he is a Ranger for the entire season. There have been 71 forwards in NHL history who have played at least 40 games as an 18-year old. Those 71 forwards averaged (mean):

        68 games played
        18 goals
        23 assists
        41 points

        The median numbers are:
        73 games played
        15 goals
        19 assists
        36 points

        The mode numbers are:
        80 games played (8 players)
        13 goals (7 players)
        19 assists (5 players)
        42 points (4 players)

        Being a below average scorer as an 18 year old does not indicate a player will have a poor career. Gordie Howe scored 7 goals and 15 assists in 58 games. Joe Thornton scored 3 goals and 4 assists in 55 games (which was the lowest point total in this group of 71).

        The best was Gretzky (I’m sure everyone is surprised) who scored 51 goals with 86 assists in 79 games.

  7. Peter says:

    Nice analysis Dave. The bottom line is that no matter what takes place regarding this young man this season, the Rangers still have a young player with a great deal of potential. Can’t help but smile about that.

  8. Gorty's Boys says:

    Two weeks ago, I was certain Chytil would not open the season with the Rangers, and I thought that was ok. Now, I’m certain he is a budding star and he has to remain here. I thought the early Matthews comp he received was total hyperbole, it’s still, maybe, a little unfair… but it’s not insane hyperbole.

  9. jrrangersdad says:

    I honestly would have preferred giving Lias Anderson the 9 game tryout as his size and all around game has a better chance of success and contribution for the entire year.. Chytil without a doubt has a bright future, but do you all remember Anthony Duclair’s lights out pre-season a few years back? He will not have the same amount of space when the season starts and the checks will get harder and more frequent.

    • Mancunian Candidate says:

      Duclair is an odd comparison for Chytil–there’s a size advantage for Chytil and his game appears to be more complete, plus Chytil is a center while the Duke is a winger. Duclair gets down on himself emotionally–it’s been a knock on him throughout his career–while Chytil seems to be a less brooding individual, he has that happy to be here vibe that sometimes eludes the kids who come from the heavily-pressurized world of Canadian junior hockey.

      Chytil has shown the speed, offensive awareness, and fearlessness that indicates to me that he’s mentally ready for the grind of the NHL. Cant wait to see what he looks like in the regular season. From an asset management standpoint I wonder too if Gorton didn’t want both 1st rounders burning a year off their ELC simultaneously.

      • jrrangersdad says:

        Was strictly speaking from a pre-season performance (or expectations) perspective. I’d argue the defensive responsibilities of a Center offset Chytil’s emotional or even physical advantages over Duclair. If it was a different head coach, I would be less concerned as they would likely take the good (offensive skill) with the bad (defensive awareness) but as we all know AV has had little tolerance with our previous budding young forwards. Another words AV does not build young players confidence so I fully expect AV to screw with Chytil and DeAngelo’s head for the next 160-240 games.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          I think a 2nd line center audition with Nash & Zucc as wingers speaks for itself in terms of the whole “AV hates kids” narrative. I think AV plays favorites is a truer statement, with both kids and vets. And who knows, maybe Chytil falls into the Jesper Fast/Tanner Glass side of the roster, and both team and fans benefit.

          DeAngelo is another story, I think Vigneault is tougher on his young defenders–but that’s true of a lot of NHL coaches. DeAngelo seems hardheaded enough to endure mind games.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Exactly right Man. Perfectly said. The whole “AV hates the kids” is as bogus as Big Foot.

            • Mancunian Candidate says:

              I’m not saying it’s completely bogus, E3–Vigneault definitely plays favorites in my book, but it’s got little to do with age. Contrast his treatment of Pavel Buchnevich (a high-ceiling potential top 6 winger) with that of Jesper Fast (modest offensive production, but really good at following AV’s style/gameplan. One got a longer leash because he was reliable in the coach’s eyes. One arguably could’ve helped the team offensively much more than the other, but didn’t get that chance from the coach after getting hurt early on.

              Let’s not forget about AV’s inexplicable love of Girardi and Glass either, even though they’re no longer here. But other than McIlrath and Buchnevich, Vigneault has had a decent to good track record with young players as a Ranger coach–and Vigneault now looks to be clearly vindicated on the McIlrath issue. I think AV handled Buch poorly last year, that can’t happen again this season. This year is the key year, he’s also got a wealth of young D talent knocking on the door and 2 awful veterans in Staal & Holden clogging up the pipeline. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out this year.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                To your points Man….

                Does AV play favorites? Absolutely. So did Torts. So does just about every coach I’ve ever seen, gotten to know personally, or interviewed. I coached on the high amateur level in baseball. I played favorites too. We all do it. It’s human nature to give a longer leash to people you trust as opposed to those who have to earn your trust.

                I think his “love” of Girardi was based again on the choice between a player with a solid track record, despite his obvious flaws, vs other options that were also flawed. The Rangers have better options now. Therefore, Girardi was expendable. As for Glass, no doubt he liked what Glass brought to the table, certainly more than most fans would agree was appropriate–even me. But If you really objectively look at how Glass was used, I think the backlash was overblown.

                2014-15. Glass played 10 minutes per game on what was arguably one of the better Rangers team ever, at least point wise. So how bad could he have been if the Rangers were that good? As for other options on that 4th line that year, IMO, I’m not sure if you wouldn’t have traded one flawed player for another.

                2015-16 and 2016-17–Glass spent substantial time in the minors. In each case, he was recalled because of injury. He would be inserted into the lineup at times to sometimes give a spark and maybe send a message to certain players that you need to play harder. And again, his minutes were limited.

                I really have no issue at all with how AV used Glass. That being said, I am glad he’s gone.

                As for Buch, I don’t really understand the negative backlash in terms of his usage. He played really well early on, and AV played him. Then he suffered a pretty significant back injury that kept him out awhile. We really have no idea what his actual physical condition was once he returned. But it seemed pretty evident that once he did return, for the most part, he was mostly a shell of the guy we saw in the first quarter of the season.

                The Rangers were trying to secure the most favorable playoff position possible. Buchnevich’s development became a secondary concern, and at that point of the season, rightfully so. And, the fact is the Rangers had plenty of quality forwards to choose from last year. What line would he have fit in on late in the season that would have produced a better result? Who do you move to accommodate?

                Again, if he was the Buch of earlier in the season, I would agree. But that player did not really ever return. Hopefully we will see that guy again this year. If we do, likely he avoids the press box.

              • Mancunian Candidate says:

                See, there’s the rub with AV though–like most coaches he values two points on a given night versus how a player’s development can positively affect games later in the season. Sometimes players have to play through slumps, and it didn’t help that Buch was shunted down to the fourth line. And we did see that good version of Buchnevich in the Montreal series. Too bad AV didn’t notice though, and returned the horrible Tanner Glass to the lineup in his stead.

                This year with DeAngelo (not to mention Pionk & Graves), a little tolerance of a mistake in October may pay off in April. That’s the type of thing AV needs to demonstrate, in my opinion. Not every player is as smart as Jesper Fast, but there are a few players on this roster who could benefit from a longer leash from the coach–Buchnevich, JT Miller, Brady Skjei, and Kevin Hayes most prominently. Playing Holden & Staal doesn’t help NYR in the long run, it’s about time AV realizes that. Or has Gorton tell him that vehemently.

              • jrrangersdad says:

                I have a much different slant on AV’s liking of Jesper. AV’s teams are always constructed around transition and puck position (yeah great for playoffs!) so you are not going to find a bunch of (every day) power forwards up and down the lineup. AV has to have 2-3 defensively competent forwards in the lineup. Jesper is one of those 3. He’s got no choice but to like him in certain key defensive situations. And who wouldn’t as Jesper doesn’t make mistakes that leads to goals. If you want 9 flashy forwards in the lineup then you need to expect those mistakes. AV accepts them from veterans because he knows they won’t listen to him in the locker room anyway. AV still feels he has a chance to influence the younger kids. After a few years they stop listening to him as well. Just hope they don’t turn into guys like Stepan that do little to help the young forwards through AVs ritual.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Man-

                Really interesting points you make. You really get to the heart of the matter it seems to me. Playing for two points now vs a greater reward down the road.

                But boy, that is a REAL fine line to walk for a head coach, who’s job status usually depends on making the playoffs. There are a few things to consider here.

                1) Two points in October mean just as much as two points in April.

                2) In the Cap Era, with very few exceptions, there is very little separating most playoff teams from non-playoff teams. Therefore, every point is precious.

                3) It’s been mentioned over and over. In the NHL, post-lockout, if you are not in playoff position by Thanksgiving, your chances of coming back and making the playoffs are not good. Can you REALLY afford to piss away points on player development if you feel said development might cost you a playoff spot–and perhaps your job?

                4) I think there are two types of teams that can more afford to take the “development” approach over the “play for today” approach. Certainly, a team with little or no expectation to make the playoffs can certainly experiment. But also, a team that is loaded with high end talent, like let’s say Pittsburgh today, Chicago at the peak of their game, Detroit a decade ago, hey even Washington. Those teams have (or had) superstars that can more easily cover up for a young player’s mistake. So, in the Pens case for example, you can weave in a Guentzel more easily knowing you have Crosby, Malkin and Kessel to bail you out.

                When you are more of the borderline-type playoff team that the Rangers are, with no elite talent other than the goalie (as I call them the “No-Margin-For-Error” Rangers), everything has to go just right on many nights to win. It generally is truly a team effort when the Rangers are at their best. So if you are giving a key role to a young player who still has a significant learning curve, and you play as many 1-goal games as the Rangers have played over the years, I think it is much, much harder to be as patient as coaches that run teams on the extreme margins like the Pens or the Avs.

                Now, back to Buch vs Glass. Buch was not playing well going into the playoffs. Glass was. AV went with Glass in Games 1-3 vs the Caps. If you recall, Glass potted the game winner in Game 1. Without Glass, it is certainly possible that we are down 0-3 in that series instead of 1-2. Now, when AV recognized a change was needed, he brought in Buch and yes, he played well. So it seems to me his use and instincts of when to play each guy was right on.

                As for longer leashes, they have to be earned. The guys you mentioned all have “leashes” of varying lengths. Miller, IMO, has no leash and really hasn’t had a leash for the past two seasons. AV trusts him, even though he still makes so many egregious errors.

                He has been incredibly supportive of Hayes, Even when Hayes was struggling with his conditioning back in 2015-16. Every reporter saw how poor he was doing and it was evident, AV really did not want to bench him but the kid gave him no choice. He has increased Hayes’ ice time each season. There is no leash on Hayes.

                Skjei had a fantastic rookie season. I can’t see how anyone can argue with how he was used. There were some issues with his defensive game which might explain his late game usage, but by and large, he also had virtually no leash.

                Only Buch had a leash–and that was largely due to the back injury.

                I see no issue here at all.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Rangers Dad–

                I was in 100% agreement with your point about Fast. But then it was like your post was taken over by space aliens. The vets dont listen to the coach? The Stepan nonsense? Seriously? Please share with us the reporting that confirms that ANY of this is actually true, and further, why Gorton would reward a coach who has lost control of a significant portion of his locker room, as you seem to be suggesting. Or are you just making it up as you go?

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          And that last statement regarding AV’s handling of young players is a total myth of course, but yeah, sure, keep going with it.

          • jrrangersdad says:

            No It’s not a myth. I know from the inside the locker. So keep admiring AV’s sweet suits and charm!

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              And again Dad, if that were true, why has NO reporter even hinted at it? And why on God’s green earth would Gorton reward AV with an extension for crying out loud?

              We already know from the Torts exit that when a coach loses the room in Rangersland, he’s out. So please explain then how AV could still be the coach?

              I classify your opinion as a likely prime example of Fake News.

          • Egelstein says:

            It is not coincidence that many VAN and NYR fans alike recognize some issues in this area of “myth”. AV has not flat-out ruined promising young players’ careers – I wouldn’t go that far by any means. He has been inconsistent with young players. To say that he hasn’t had any consistency issues here is wearing blinders a bit, IMO. That a fair amount of fans are a little concerned about how AV will handle Chytil is not entirely for nothing. Will he get the Fast/Vesey treatment, or the Miller/Hayes treatment? It’s a fair question.

            Again, no careers were ruined, here. But Miller and Hayes both seemed to be playing nervous when AV was riding them, calling them out in the press, and benching them for the same types of mistakes all young players make. I don’t feel his approach was as constructive with them their first few years.

            Vesey had some sneaky-bad stretches last season. His HERO chart is actually pretty ugly, but hey, he was a rookie. Fast is a more responsible player by nature (which limits his upside, on the other hand), but even he had some terrible games in his first few seasons. I’d prefer Chytil to have that type of a leash/approach, personally. Would like to see more trust in him than to suffer media commentary and benching for what amount to routine early-career mistakes.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Eg-

              Again, very valid and reasonable points and concerns. A few things here.

              1) I still have a lot of contacts and sources from my days reporting in Chicago. There are some rumblings that Coach Q is very much on the hot seat and might not be back if the Hawks fail to make the playoffs. One of the points of contention? The Coach is leaning on his aging vets. Why? Because he trusts them. Sound familiar? It should. Because that’s what most every coach will do.

              2) The narratives out of Vancouver and NY are mostly blog and fan based. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been actually any legit reporting that says this “AV is bad with kids” thing is a real thing. I’m no expert on Vancouver, but my understanding is that the issue was perhaps similar to the current situation in Chicago. The coach trusts the vets because he isn’t quite sold on the kids. I can’t speak for what Chicago has in their pipeline, but in Vancouver, most of those kids proved to be not very good–which is why Gillis was shown the door the season after he fired AV.

              3) In NY, I’ve posted this before, but his track record with the young players has been mostly very good.

              4) If there was really a concern about AV as a good coach with young players, then why would Gorton, who is trying to make his team younger and rebuild on the fly, give AV an extension last January (a season and a half before his contract was up), and not just any extension, but an extension with substantial term that made him amongst the highest paid coaches in the game? Yes, Dolan can handle it, I get it, but there was no reason for Gorton to do that IF he had any concerns about AV’s ability to effectively develop young talent.

              5). Young players who are UFAs would NOT come to NY if AV’s reputation as an unfair or poor developer of young talent were actually true. No player is going to risk their precious development years and earning potential on a coach who was not fair in that regard.

              6) I’ve discussed Miller and Hayes ad nauseaum. Miller had well documented attitude and maturity issues. He needed a swift kick in the pants. The Hayes situation only happened briefly in year two when he came into the season out of shape. In that case, there are reporters who cover the team that will tell you that, if anything, AV was too protective of Hayes and did not deal with him nearly harshly enough. By all accounts, he is a huge fan of Hayes.

              7). I went back and read a quote from one of the Sedin twins. He credited AV’s tough love approach as instrumental in his development as a player. AV is not all that atypical in terms of coaches I have known. The more talented you are, the harder the coach will be on you when you don’t produce.

              As for Chytil, DeAngelo and whatever other young player comes up, I doubt we will see consistency. because there should not be consistency. No one manages that way. How you are treated depends on how you perform, what your potential is, what your attitude is like, and the coach’s perception of what buttons need to be pushed to get a player’s attention. This is coaching 101 as I see it.

  10. Take profit says:

    So wait a 90 point season is to much to expect ?

  11. supermaz says:

    WoW, the Rangers may finally have a budding young star. And all most of you can think about is when we can send him back to Czech or down to Hartford to save a few dollars? This is the kind of thinking that has kept us from winning the past 23 years. God forbid we just let him play, grow, and contribute.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Maz, he’s barely 18 years old. Based simply on history, his chances of succeeding in the NHL in any meaningful way this season are not very good. Sure, it would be great if he can prove that he’s ready for a full season of NHL contribution, but that is asking a lot. I think virtually every talent evaluator in the league would likely agree that in an ideal world, he would be better served playing in Hartford or in Europe for at least another year or two.

      Now, his performance going forward and the Rangers needs at this point may dictate a different course of action. But all we have seen thus far is that he’s played well in meaningless pre-season games vs. borderline NHL players on teams projected to likely miss the playoffs. We have no idea how he will play when the bell rings for real vs. the likes of Ovechkin, Backstrom, Crosby, Malkin, etc.

      If he sticks, great. Credit to him. If he gets sent down, the Rangers hockey world will not come to an end.

    • Egelstein says:

      Just my take – this feels more like “hope” to me. Whereas, for example, Hayes, it felt more like “expectation” to me…and to this day, many people are frustrated at Hayes for not having put up a 60+ point season yet. If, for example, Chytil has a point a game through nine and looks completely legit, I will be a little ticked if they send him down. I’ll be the first to agree that he shouldn’t be kept up simply because our C options aren’t great outside of Mika and Hayes, though – not at the cost of possibly stunting his development. That’s a risk the team should absolutely not take. If he looks like he’s having trouble hanging once he’s playing against full NHL rosters and for good minutes through nine, then I won’t be upset at all if they decide to save the ELC year and let him develop.

      I would like to see him in the AHL over back to the Czech league, though, if he does not stick with the big club. For a few different reasons…Hartford could use the talent to help lift up some of the other prospects who looked to have struggled last year due at least in part to lack of support, for one. Could be mutually beneficial to Chytil as well as some other prospects. Also, I just generally prefer guys be in our system, playing the North American brand of hockey, whenever possible. Shestyorkin, for example…I would strongly prefer he comes here sooner than it appears he intends to. It’s not even about the talent in the KHL, just about being in North American hockey culture and being coached in a more typical NHL style, and playing games more in that style. Last but not least, it will help ease him in culturally, with the language and also just the American lifestyle. Sure, he may get homesick at some point, but if he’s that type of person, then that will happen at some point anyways.

      In any event, I’m hopeful we are on the cusp of something special here with Buchnevich and Chytil, and Andersson too even though he didn’t make the cut just yet for whatever reasons the coaching staff saw. It’s safe to say a lot of eyes will be on AV and the coaching staff and how they handle these guys. I’m hoping for a little bit of trust and understanding that developing players are going to make mistakes…and it’s better to have them making the mistakes than past-prime vets also making mistakes, who bring little upside in comparison. If Chytil looks legit otherwise, I can certainly live with a couple rookie mistakes during his audition. I hope AV can, too.

  12. NYRfaninDC says:

    On the football game last night, the commentators were talking about how Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy makes a habit of rotating his rookie players into games early into the season. The coach knows that football is about winning the battle with attrition. Injuries always happen and rookies will be forced into starting roles come the end of the season and playoffs, so he likes them to get game reps in early on.

    I think that’s brilliant coaching. Hockey is not that different. Injuries come and go, and you need a strong supporting cast in order to maintain a competitive edge. If AV could give rookies and young players more of a chance to play and a bit of a longer leash in the begining of the season, maybe he would feel more comfortable leaning on them for bigger roles and minutes in key moments late in the season.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      And the flip side to that comes from HOF coach Bill Parcells, who has said over and over that if you push a young player with too much too soon, you can ruin that player. Sure, if you have a Lawrence Taylor on your hands, then absolutely, you play that kind of player right away. But those talents are rare to find.

      It seems to me that AV does pretty much exactly what McCarthy does. He doesnt throw young players into the deep end of the pool too fast. He gives them playing time in short spurts and then, when and if they prove themselves, they earn more time. I guarantee you that McCarthy will NOT play his young players for long if they show they are not better than the vets he has in place.

    • Jeff P says:

      The problem is that AV (and hockey coaches in general) don’t employ rotations for the most part. I think it would be beneficial for Chytil to sit every 3rd or 4th game for many reasons – keep him fresher, give him perspective from the press box, mental breaks, but that likely won’t happen. He’ll either be playing every game or get sent down.

      • RichS says:

        Totally agree Jeff P
        I was hoping they would send him down, to continue development and put on 20 lbs…easier to take a hit when your 210 and not 190……..not to mention its a safer league where he played in europe……….the track record of 18 year olds not named gretzky is short……..

  13. Jerry says:

    Thanks Dave, great piece.

    I do not think the Rangers are worried about perception, if they were they would have kept the higher pick, Andersson.
    I have complete faith in Gorton in that he will do what is best for the team and the player.

  14. Reenavipul says:

    NHL combine had him at 6’1.5″, 192 lbs, team has him at 6’2″, 202. His dad & brother are 6’4″, Mom 5’10”.

    By the time he’s 20 he should be 6’4″, 220lbs. With that skill set and that size, his expectations should be in Nash territory.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      You may well be right, but do you really think he can still grow three more inches? I know this is your field so I will certainly defer to you on this, but everything I’ve ever read on the subject suggests that, while certainly possible, men usually stop growing by 19. At least stop growing significantly. It’s obviously genetics, but perhaps the answer lies in terms of what point his Dad and Mom stopped growing.

      So I’m with you on the weight. But maybe he will be 6’2″, 6’2.5″. 6’4″? Maybe if we put him on the rack at the Addams Family Mansion. 🙂

      • Reenavipul says:

        He’s grown a 1/2″ in 4 months, just turned 18.

        • Matt R says:

          Welllll you should also remember that the Rangers can list him at whatever they want to list him at. Many teams list players at higher heights/weights to improve trade value or convince other teams that there is more of a physical mismatch than reality. So take it with a grain of salt what he is listed at.

          • Reenavipul says:

            Scouting combine don’t lie. Family history and age makes it likely, so you can keep your grain of salt.

            • Matt R says:

              Hey man, the combine is absolutely correct. What he is listed at is up for interpretation.

      • Walt says:

        How much did the Admiral grow at the academy?????

        Enough to get a discharge from the Navy!!

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Welcome back Walt!

          Fair point about the Admiral, but that kind of proves my point. People who are 7 footers are essentially “abnormal” relative to the rest of the population (no offense meant to anyone who is so tall). I would submit that anyone growing to that height is likely going to have an abnormal growth curve relative to most men.

          I’m not saying he WON’T grow as Reena suggests. Who knows? I’m just saying that the stats I’ve seen on the subject suggest something a bit more modest than three more inches.

          • Reenavipul says:

            Proves your pint? What a load of garbage. The most passive aggressive circular argumentative claptrap you run out. You can’t even get your math right.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              I am so sorry to offend your sensibilities, oh great and wise Oracle of Hockey. Please do enlighten me. What is it that I said that has raised your ire so? I do think that my math is right, but if I have erred somehow, I beg your forgiveness and understanding. I am only a mere hockey mortal.

              Or, you can just have a little less caffeine and chill out a bit with your over the top, anger-filled responses. This is just a hockey blog and we can have a civil discussion, right?

              Perhaps you are just a bit “bruised” because you inaccurately stated that Yzerman “drafted” Stralman in our previous discussion. 🙂

        • Richter1994 says:

          I was just asking about yo my friend. hope all is well.

  15. Mintgecko says:

    Well expect Hayes to take on a defensive shutdown role. I can imagine his line seeing a little over 1630 per game in the first 9 games. It’s really going to be a 2a/2b type from the top 9 and with Vesey and DD on the 4th it then might feel like that’s a 3rd line which is why I think this is more of a little stint, if it goes well then great. They should have kept Andersson in the AHL to improve his play by playing on the smaller rinks and within this system.

  16. Spozo says:

    You’re wrong. If he doesn’t have a McDavid type rookie year the only reason will be AV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Leatherneck says:

    I was at the Hockey hall of fame in Toronto yesterday…I had to ask to find Gordie and Bobby….signifying the changing of the Guard…Filip represents that…If he can fill in and chip in average expectations, then it is a win. No pressure on the kid is a good approach, let him be and I think he will do just that

  18. craig says:

    Before we bring out our Chrystal Balls (Pun intended), and figure out how good this kid will play, let’s wait the 9 games when he is settled in with his line-mates. European players sometimes mature a bit faster and he may surprise a lot of people with his maturity, skill level, and speed as he gets more acclimated. He will make mistakes, but the question is, how quickly he can learn from them.

  19. Chris F says:

    I’m not aware of anyone suggesting Chytil is going to be the next McDavid or Eichel.

    He’s a real talented kid who made a surprising splash in camp and is being given a real opportunity here to exceed.

    It’s exciting, but I dont think there is anywhere near the level of expectation that you’re suggesting from the fan base.

  20. LaugherNYC says:

    Isn’t it a great moment to be a Rangers fan? We have an 18 year old who actually stands a remote chance of developing into one of those stratospheric young players we NEVER get here in NY. I mean the only generational talent we have had since Mess and Leetch has been a friggin goalie. I mean… yay? And I used to be a goalie.

    So, our expectations and our hopes are just going to get jumbled up until we see what Chytil does in those 9 games. I suspect false pretenses on management’s part. They fully expect Filipi to barely keep up, and send him back after he has a taste of life on an NHL elite club. Coming to MSG every night to work. Let that taste drive him to work hard and push himself when he goes back… with assurances from management that they have zero doubt he could succeed this year, but they do what is best for HIM. In the meantime, AV will get a chance to see how Hayes is looking, and DD. If it’s all good, they can decide between moving Miller over or giving Andersson another look. (I believe the 9 and 40 game limits don’t depend on WHEN they come). If, on the other hand, Chytil makes it impossible not to keep him, problem solved.

    My biggest concern right now is Vesey on the fourth line. This kid needs ice time and a chance to make his skills shine. Playing with DD and Jesper for single digit TOIs isn’t going to do that. I would rather see Grabner on the fourth line and Vesey with Hayes and Miller .. and late in close games AV can shorten the bench and mix and match if need be. Grabner is fully baked, adapts well to 4th line and special teams deployment, and if Vesey takes that next step, his ceiling is higher than Grabner who’s peak is probably 40 points, while that could easily be Vesey’s floor. A Grabner-DD-Fast fourth line is pretty damn good. Grabs will get 25-35 points there, and Vesey could take off if Hayes has a good/breakout year. VHM is a second line on most NHL teams.

    • Peter says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about where Vesey is playing. First of all, these were practice lines. We all know that even if they start the season off with those lines that they are subject to being changed frequently. Vesey needs to work on some things so 4th line duty is OK, it is not as if he is sitting in the press box. I think he hit the wall late in the season as it was the first time he had played so many games. He was given a rest just before the playoffs I believe for that very reason. His second half stats were kinda lousy.

      If Chytil sticks, Vesey might bounce back and fourth between the third and fourth lines. Grabner may as well, but Miller Hayes and Grabner often worked very well together, so I was not surprised to see them practice together.

      Altogether, Vesey will be fine and won’t be wedded to the fourth line all season.