Filip Chytil’s first full year on Broadway was certainly a roller coaster ride. More than anyone, Chytil was bounced around the lineup as coach David Quinn struggled to find a consistent spot and line mates for the rookie. In the end, Chytil finished with a line of 11-12-23 in 75 games. The highlights of his season were a three goal, two assist stretch in six games from January 10 through January 19 and a stretch of five straight games with a goal from November 12 through November 21, which included a few highlight reel goals. Other than that, there were long stretches of games without Chytil on the score sheet.
This, of course, is expected of a rookie who isn’t in the franchise altering status. Chytil turned 19 just as the season started, and while he is certainly has your prototypical NHL body, he needs to learn how to use it and also how to adjust to the NHL game and speed. This all takes time, and Chytil this year certainly looked lost at times. But he also looked extremely confident at times. To get a 20-point season from your 19 year old rookie on a team as bad as this Rangers team was is still a big win.
In terms of underlying numbers, Chytil was middle of the road for the most part. his 47.19 xGF% (9th on the team, 7th without Zucc/Hayes) is decent for a rookie, but not spectacular. That breaks down into a 2.33 xGF/60 (10th, 8th) and 2.60 xGA/60 (7th, 5th). So Chytil was actually contributing more without the puck than with the puck. Color me a homer, but that’s very promising to me. Playing without the puck is harder for a kid with his kind of raw talent. The points will come, especially if he’s able to continue his defensively play. When he gets some more talented line mates, expect a boost in scoring. It looks like he’s lining up for a perfect storm of development and better teammates. I’m clearly very optimistic about his future.
With Chytil, there’s a lot to unpack beyond the numbers. We want to look at where he generated his shots. This is important because Chytil’s shot rate was only 8.3%, which seems low for a top-six forward.
The majority of his shot attempts came from relatively point blank range, another positive. This leads me to believe that again, as he gets more experience and the Rangers as a whole get better, we will see that SH% rise. I find it interesting, though that his offensive impact wasn’t greater. I think part of it is his linemates. He spent most of his time with Ryan Strome, who is a little bit of smoke and mirrors and likely to regress next season, and Vlad Namestnikov, who is sneaky decent defensively but didn’t drive much offense. So I’m intrigued to see what happens if/when he gets linemates that are more steady offensively.
Offensively, which is where a lot of folks hope to see more from Chytil, I think patience is the best practice here. Chytil still put up double digit goals and assists with a 20-point season in his rookie year on a downright bad Rangers team. He’s shown he’s doing a lot of the little things right as well, such as his play without the puck and getting shots from a point blank range. The points will come.
Grade: B."2019 Rangers Player Report Card: Filip Chytil",