Congrats to Filip Chytil, as for the second straight year, the 21st overall pick from 2017 has broken camp with the main roster. Chytil looks to be on a line with Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello, at least from the early line pairings, which immediately puts him in a top-six role. It’s a role in which he is more than skilled enough to succeed.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a potential elite talent from the first round make the club so quickly. As such, there’s a lot of optimism and hope around Chytil. But he’s also a rookie. He will be put in a position to succeed, but he will also make mistakes. Growth comes from making mistakes, after all.
Which brings us to what to expect from the young winger. Chytil has shown flashes of dominance, but has also shown he has room to grow. He’s not on the top line (yet), and likely won’t be on the top powerplay unit (yet). However he will see time in the top-six and with the man advantage.
In terms of ice time, I think it’s fair to expect Chytil to get somewhere in the 12-15 minute range at even strength, plus powerplay time. This will vary daily based on game flow, but that range is relatively expected. Tack on 2-3 minutes of powerplay time, and you have a kid playing a lot, but not necessarily becoming a work horse.
As for points, which is what we are all here for anyway, it’s tough to gauge. In prior posts like these, we had an idea of how the Rangers would look on the ice. This year we don’t have that. So I will have to guestimate based on last year’s NHL totals:
- 3 players scored 100 points
- 6 players scored 90 points
- 12 players had 80 points
- 13 players had 70 points
- 39 players had 60 points
- The 93rd highest scoring player had 55 points (Daniel Sedin)
That’s 73 players with 60+ points. There are about 5 defensemen in that list, so that’s 68 forwards with 60+ points last season. If you assume, by definition, that there must be 93 (31 teams, 3 top line forwards each) top line forwards, then mid-50s seems to be the cutoff for top line forward.
That’s not the perfect example –nothing is– because not every team has three top line forwards who hit 55+ points. But to balance that out, some teams have more than one (Penguins). It’s not perfect, but 55 points seems to be a good cutoff point. There is, after all, a difference between elite talent and top line talent.
Chytil is playing on the second line, though. And while 55 points would certainly be nice, it’s his rookie year. I think the kid should be aiming for second line numbers, preferably in the upper range (45-55 points). It’s a solid rookie year, not spectacular, but a good year of easing him into NHL duties.
For Chytil, it’s about sticking with the NHL club this year. The points will come. The growth will come through mistakes. It will be fun to watch him for a full season (hopefully).