For Filip Chytil it’s not if, but when he will get called back up to the Rangers

The second year center is likely to be Ryan Strome's replacement on the second line

When the Rangers sent center Filip Chytil to the AHL to start the season, it was viewed as a surprising development for a kid who had a halfway decent rookie season last year. Chytil was penciled in as the 2C, but with a poor camp and preseason, Chytil was sent down to work on his game and confidence. Through three games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Chytil has put up 1-3-4 and has shown himself to be a man amongst boys so far.

Meanwhile in the NHL, Ryan Strome is just not cutting it as the 2C on a consistent basis. He had a great pass for Kaapo Kakko’s first goal on Saturday, but we are talking about consistently being able to keep up with Kakko and Chris Kreider, and it’s clear he hasn’t been able to through three games. Sure it’s only three games and there’s plenty of time for him to turn it around. However his track record isn’t with him, and he’s been the prime candidate for a regression year after shooting 20% with the Rangers last season.

All the attention is on Lias Andersson and his ice time, and while that is certainly with good reason, Lias isn’t the 2C of the future. He just happens to be playing better than both Strome and Brett Howden, so at the NHL level that’s why he gets the attention, at least through three games. But it doesn’t matter who gets there now, since whomever is the 2C is just keeping the spot warm for Chytil.

Which brings us back to that “unexpected” camp decision. Chytil is getting top line minutes in the AHL right now, something he wouldn’t be getting in the NHL. At least not yet. Not with three games in two weeks. For all intents and purposes, the past two weeks have been extended training camp and preseason, except with a salary cap to navigate.

The general consensus has been that Chytil will be called up before the end of the calendar year. Given his start, Strome’s start, and the relative reluctance of David Quinn to try Lias or Howden in the 2C role, it looks like Quinn is just biding his time until Chytil is ready for another shot at the 2C role. There is a plan. Whether or not the end justifies the means, well that’s where all the debate is.

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  • So far we are back to 2006 when we had one line with Jagr and Nylander, certainly not a formula for long-term success.

    Saturday’s game was a perfect example of when the top line does not dominate then the Rangers will not score goals and therefore ultimately not win.

    The top line had numerous good looks for shots and decided not to take them, including on the PP. Buch being the biggest offender here. Can’t happen. They need to get pucks to the net. Especially against a goalie like Mike Smith, who only had to deal with one shot at a time. Most NHL goalies can handle that, no problem.

    They’re not going to play Ottawa every game where they can have pretty goals, the opposing D won’t allow it.

    I’m not a Monday QB on this, because I wanted Chytil at 2C all along. It’s good for everyone involved to find out whether the kid can truly handle it.

    Give him 25-30 games there. If this is truly another “development” year then the Rangers MUST find out about Filip, either way (as a 2C). He is a big part of this core of young Rangers.

    So put him with CK and Kakko, and see what happens. Like now.

    And Strome needs to be dealt just like Names.

    Oh, and Howden IS NOT the answer at 2C. Let’s get that out of the way.

  • Chytil thought all he had to do was show up, and he would be awarded the 2C spot. He was in for a rude awakening, but I suspect the message was conveyed, he’s working his tail off to get back to the parent club.

    The next question should be who gets the 3C spot upon Phil’s return? Andersson should be given a shot at that spot, especially the way he’s be playing. I’m not a huge fan of Howden, and believe he woud be better served at the wing position. Tony’s point that Strome should be moved is spot on, he can’t handle the 2C spot, and will have a poor year relative to last season. Moving Strome to the wing may takes a spot away from Ktavs, so get what we can in the way of a pick, player, whatever, and open a spot for the kid. I could see the lines as follows:


    This could be a lineup that grows together, and gives the kids the best chance to prove themselves at the NHL level…………………..Just my thought but management may have other ideas!!!!!!!!

  • Bring the kid up and let him play, for God’s sake! Anything is better then what we have seen so far for the number 2c. If he is in the middle of two goal scorers, with enough ice time, that may be what he needs to grow and excel. Maybe his short success and playing time in the AHL, has boasted his confidence. Bring him up and give him a shot, the sooner the better!

  • After three games I can’t help but be optimistic. Our first line is deadly along with our power play and penalty kill too.
    I was furious watching #76 – he is no where near where we need him to be. Fox is young but improving every time he plays, he is very good with the puck and has the vision to make great plays. I can not get enough of Panarin, he is an animal on the puck, supreme, and plays very good defense.

    I was at the game and off the action McDavid is a sneaky player, he pulled a few BS moves, on one of them he was going towards the back of the net towards the play with Panarin, he reached over #10’s head and pushed his head to slow him down, total interference!

    While on that subject, Lemieux is an idiot, he needs to play more and stop trying all the non-sense, because, he’s not doing good at it and he is hurting the team.

    The coach is at fault too, this team wasn’t up, they didn’t play past the 1st period all that much.
    they just lacked energy…

    WHERE”S #20 (how many games in a row will he disappear from being a strong player)

    We need a better @C, we need a better #76, we need a consistent #20.

    and I don’t think Howden has it…



    disappointing to lose like that, I prefer a team that fights and loses, not one that get’s steam rolled…

    we had no answer to Neil and he abused us all game…

  • Attention all Ranger opponents – Shut down the first line and win!
    A home game is where we get the better matchups, and we didn’t do what was needed in game 3.

    Our 2nd and 3rd lines need to generate offense. I think DQ and Gorton know Strome is not the answer, but feel Chytil can use another 10 games on the farm.

    Moves will be coming. Strome is a better winger than centerman. He actually shoots the puck.
    My guess is along with Thanksgiving, Chytil will be setting the table for the second line come mid November.

  • Not much of a limb there Dave, “end of the calendar year”. He’ll be in NY around Halloween and before Turkey Dinner.

  • One or two decent games does not make Chytil a good 2C an the NHL level. Let him play at least 10 more games, show he dominates at the AHL level and then move him up. Everyone is in a rush, but let’s give Chytil a real chance to play in all conditions against all types of teams before we shove him as the 2C.

  • If Chytil is playing with Kraftsov, and they both are playing well, in about 5 games, bring them both up and send Haley and McKegg down. Let Chytil be the 2C and move Strome to the 3rd line as a wing with Kraftsov and have Lias center that line. The 4th line can be Howden, Fast and Smith.

  • What’s concerning is that he had that chance in the NHL last year, and seemed to be developing, but when he showed up this year it was like he forgot everything he’d learned.

  • I personally think Chytil (and Andersson and Howden) could all use some extended time in the AHL playing center and not being jerked up and down through the lineup and between the two teams. I think they could all use some time down there, but not just very short stints. I’d leave Chytil down there for a few more weeks. It’s not like he’s ready and “developed” in about 2 weeks. Let him stay there until you feel you won’t have to send him back… ever. Chytil is a little different since he has some NHL experience already. But I’d give him more than two weeks and a handful of games down there.

    As soon as he gets up here, there’s gonna be an issue. The beloved Lias is probably gonna suffer once Chytil is back. DQ is going to continue to play Howden and Strome ahead of him, and will probably put Lias in street clothes at least a few times.

  • Agree about Chityl, but Chityl and Andersson are very different players. Chityl (Kravtsov as well) is a high ceiling player and you want to develop him to his full capability. Andersson OTOH will never be much more than marginal and so there is really no point in getting him playing time in Hartford. if he can be a useful fourth liner and PK specialist, use him in that role. Don’t compromise the present for some fictitious future.

  • Even if the centers we are talking about start playing, what’s this teams answer to Neil and others who are man handling this team?

    Trouba knocked guys around and has the grit… I don’t see much else of it.

  • “Chytil was sent down to work on his game and confidence.”

    Dave, you have a very one size fits all attitude. There is an obsession with the confidence of young players. I haven’t been around these young hockey people so I lack first hand experience, but I visualize these young upstarts as more likely than not guys who need to be taken down a peg rather than guys who need to be built up. For a clear example, it seems obvious that Anthony DeAngelo could more fairly be described as someone who thought he was the second coming than as a kid who needed to be built up [and the Ranger brass dealt with the prospect he was, not with some generic defenseman]. Other players are less obvious, but Kravtsov’s sulking suggests another player in the same vein. I suspect Chityl and Andersson started out the same way (though Lias’s horrific performance last year was no doubt sobering and I suspect DQ’s decision to use him in a role that he is good at this year is a welcome effort to boost his self-image). Chityl on the other hand has played as though his talent is enough to get him through it.

    Here is what I see as the truth about Chityl. Who is the more talented center – Zibanejad or Chityl? I don’t know.
    Can Chityl carve out a successful career as a mediocre 2C? Undoubtedly. And it appears that will happen if we allow to believe he is good enough.

    If you look at the Hartford roster, there is Chityl, Kravtsov, and Shesty — and then there is everyone else. Everyone in the world, including the players involved, know the score. The big three are part of the Ranger future and the rest need to fight for everything they get. Even Lindgren and Rykov are not future Rangers; they are two defensemen trying to be future Rangers. Those guys can use some pats on the back now and then just to know the organization is thing of them seriously, but for the big three, it is about getting them to take the future seriously – they already know where they stand.

    Oh – one more more crucial point – if the Rangers had kept Nieves instead of Howden, it would still be a big three.

  • The NYRs are a 1 line team. The rest are barely peripheral NHL players. We need guys like Chytil, Andersson, Howden & Kraftsov PLUS Krieder and Kakko to show they are true NHL material, otherwise we will be just another team not making the playoffs for a few years. Good teams throw NHL talent at you every shift. We just are not that good yet.

  • Chytil was not responsible playing in the defense zone as a C last year, that was the reason DQ benched him
    repeatedly last seaon. I suspect he has the same problem this year so he didn’t make the team to start the season. Chytil is very young and talented, sometimes younger players only want to play offense but not interested in defense. Chytil will be a better player as he matures. BUT it’s not Chytil’s birth right to be 2C of the NYR, he still have to earn it no matter how talented he is. I am no fan of Ryan Strome, I think both him and Names should be traded during the summer, but I guess no takers. But let’s be fair, Strome won the battle for 2C fairly and squarely out of the camp, that’s why Lias is a part time 4C and Chytil is in the minors right now.

  • Unfortunately NYR only have one line, they do not have a real 2C to utilize the skills of Kaapo Kakko and CK. You know the situation at 2C is really bad when Ryan Strome won the battle of 2C out of the camp.

  • You speak the Truth…

    It is if, not when, for them both and hopefully soon. It would really suck if we end losing Kravs. Just let the kid play and he will be here soon.

  • It’s still too early to tell if Howden is or is not a top six forward. The same goes for Andersson, Chyil or any of the other young prospects. If you look back at Zib in his second pro season he had promise but sure didn’t look like a budding superstar. Patience.

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