chris kreider

Over the past few seasons, there has been a very vocal –albeit small– group of folks that is adamant about getting rid of Chris Kreider. I see the logic, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. Kreider is an animal, his combination of speed, strength, and skill is rare, and folks expect an elite level of output. There is also a level of inconsistency to his scoring, and he’s prone to the offensive zone penalty every now and then.

I don’t really know what expectations people have regarding Kreider’s output. He’s increased his scoring in every season since his rookie year, is a consistent 20-goal guy, put up 28 goals last year, and should hit 30 a few times over his career. He’s just 26 years old and is on a solid deal for a guy with his production and skill set. He’s also a matchup nightmare for teams, as there are few defensemen who can out skate and/or out muscle Kreider. He’s a beast.

To put Kreider’s production, which has increased every year, into focus for a second, he put up 28 goals and 53 points last season. To put that into perspective, only 41 wingers broke the 50 point mark last year. He was tied for 19th in the league (wingers only) with 28 goals.

If you are of the belief that 60 points is the cutoff for a top line winger, then know that only 17 wingers hit the 60 point mark last year. Perhaps, the issue is expectations based on arbitrary numbers instead of actual production across the league.

With the recent rumors surrounding Montreal, folks really want to deal Kreider. Larry Brooks casually mentioned Andrew Shaw. Let’s be clear here: Kreider for Shaw is a major step backwards and a mistake. It’s not even close. Kreider produces at a first line rate of production, even if he isn’t at elite production. Shaw is a middle-six guy.

Folks also mentioned Kreider for Galchenyuk. The offense is certainly comparable. However Kreider has significantly better shot suppression numbers. From a matchup perspective, this means Galchenyuk would need to be sheltered, whereas Kreider does not. That said, the thought of Kreider in Montreal is funny with the whole Carey Price thing. Might be worth it to see Habs fans burn the place to the ground.

Kreider’s flaw is that his tools don’t match fans’ expectations. That’s of no fault of his own. Kreider is a solid first line winger that most teams would kill to have on their club. Every player who isn’t an elite talent goes through stretches of inconsistency. Every. Single. One.

Comparing Kreider to the horrendous Rangers, he’s second on the team in relative xGF% (5.86) and xGF% (54.47%). He’s behind Pavel Buchnevich in both categories. Yes – fourth linerTM Buchnevich has been the single best Ranger in terms of overall play and generating offense. But I digress. Kreider has been a top-two forward for the Rangers since the start of the season.

Kreider is near the top of my list of “untouchables” on the Rangers roster. He’s not untouchable by any sense, as the Rangers can get a big haul for him if they decide to tear it all down. But that haul needs to be worth it (note: Better than the returns for Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan). Kreider is one of the few bright spots on a team that can’t seem to get their collective acts together. He’s nearly impossible to replace.


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