NY Rangers 2019-2020 Player Report Card: Chris Kreider

Future captain?

Chris Kreider’s season started as the only player on the Rangers with real questions about his future. Unsigned beyond his current contract, it was still unknown whether he would remain with the Rangers or be traded at the deadline. In the end, he was re-signed after the Rangers started making a playoff push. Kreider was a key cog in that push.

Kreider finished the regular season with a line of 24-21-45 in 63 games, more or less on pace with his career averages. He’s a key cog in the KZB line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. Kreider’s impact is beyond the numbers, which are solid. He’s a matchup nightmare and quite possibly one of the best net-front presences in the NHL. His role is to get in front for screens and deflections, opening the high slot and top of the circle areas for Zibanejad and others to fire away. Close your eyes and picture Kreider on the ice. He’s in front of the net, isn’t he?

Without the puck, Kreider’s offensive impact wasn’t game breaking. While that isn’t surprising, I did expect him to have a larger impact offensively. I guess that, since Artemi Panarin has the majority of the offensive impact, the numbers would skew proportionally to those who aren’t on the ice with him regularly. But defensively, Kreider’s impact is where he separates himself. The Rangers are significantly better defensively with him on the ice. He’s just overall solid.

Over the course of the season, Kreider had a truly terrible start. The good news was that the only place to go was up, and that he did. He became a consistently positive player from November on, with only a few dips in his overall play. In January and February, again when the Rangers were making a run, he showed why he’s a top-six forward and why he earned that contract extension. He dipped like the rest of the team, then broke his foot.

Kreider’s likely never going to hit 30 goals like so many had hoped, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He has a role to play, and his role is an important one. It isn’t much of a stretch to say that players like Zibanejad wouldn’t have had as many goals without Kreider in front screening the goalie. It’s clear that Chris Kreider is an important cog for the Rangers as they gear up for sustained success, hopefully in the near future.

Grade: B+.

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  • A- … Kreider would have hit 30 if not for the foot injury and the cancellation of the rest of the season. He’s a beast in front of the net and has contributed greatly to a number of goals scored where he didn’t pick up a point. He’s a 55 point guy who impacts the game like a 70 point player. The knock on Chris has always been consistency, well once the “start of my last season with the Rangers blues” subsided he was consistently good. Well deserved extension at a pretty reasonable rate. I don’t see him breaking down in the near or mid-term future, his wheels are way too good for that — and I won’t be surprised if he actually exceeds his normal point totals in the next couple of years, he may very well be the type of player who hits his prime in his early to mid-30’s given his commitment to strength/conditioning and his ability to learn from experience.

    • 55 point guy? He hasn’t even hit 54 points yet lol. He got to play with enough talent like a 1c who’s a 40+ goal scorer. Than a top 5 winger with elite passing on the PP. I think a younger David Clarkson or a Boone Jenner could have easily hit the 30 goal mark before the season was called off if they played with that.

      I might pick Kreider to stand in front on a loaded PP.. But 5v5 he no way is he desirable enough. I’d pick smaller dudes like Kunitz, Callahan and Oshie to flank skilled 1c.

      Should have kept JT Miller over him. He would be a 70+ player next to Zibby. Btw there’s guys who can score more or less the same amount of goals on 2nd-3rd lines with a PP2 role.

      I can’t buy the brolic narrative. Zero battles vs any power forwards like Wilson and Ovi. Zero battles vs skilled edgy forwards like Crosby and Malkin, pretty quiet type is more like it. His past doesn’t tell me he’s a beast or a warrior, just a good 2nd line winger.

      All that speed and power but can rarely create any breakaway’s…. Or finish a check like Jamie Benn/Corey Perry have in the past. When this team has a lack of emotion and forecheck ability, Kreids would be suspect #1. He’s a poor man’s JVR, closer to Brandon Saad type.

      Sorry to kill your narratives though lol.

      • 1) 45 points in 63 games. A very stable genius like you can do the math for an 82 game season, right?

        2) Miller is irrelevant – but I guess very stable geniuses don’t need to pay attention to relevancy …

        3) Speed and power but no breakaways and/or finishing of checks – not sure what games you’re watching … and

        4) When the team lacks emotion or forechecking ability Kreids is suspect #1 — so when the team plays with emotion and forechecking ability Kreids should be suspect #1 as well, correct? Considering how they’ve played overall, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me …

      • Geko, no one in their right mind agrees with your assessments of Kreider. Sorry dude, but your hatred of the man makes you sound idiotic when you try to offer an opinion about him.

        Chris is a force, an intelligent and emotional player, and clearly has been the leader of the club for a long time now. He should be wearing the ‘C’ because he has been doing the job on the ice without the title for a couple of years. Zibanejad and Panarin might be their best players, but Kreider is captain material.

        45 point in 63 games last season. If Chris stays healthy, he does even better. Glad the Rangers retained him. There are few players like him that combine speed and size in the game. If his hands were a bit better he’d score 45 goals or more a season. I’ll take the 30 or so and the leadership.

    • Except Zib should be an A+. 😉

      Zib or Kreids, I don’t think you go wrong with either one — but what we don’t know is the off-ice and in the locker room affect, I would suspect that might make the difference here. Of course any good Captain will tell you that “guiding” a team takes a great leadership group so it never jusr falls on a Captain.

      One thing I wonder about Zibby though (and this isn’t based on any actual knowledge), what role did he play with Andersson? Did he help him along? Ignore him? etc. Pure conjecture here, but I would have thought being his fellow countryman that he would have taken him under his wing so to speak. Again though, for all I know Andersson “lost it” in Hartford, away from Zibby. It’s just a question, I love Zibby to death as a player and a personality.

  • Something started clicking for CK20 after the blood clot and once he got rolling this year it was obvious to all he hit “beast mode”

    Just turned 29, with major fitness levels, we are going to see beast mode for 4-5 years then CK20 may slow down but still be a net front power forward for the club for more time.

    CK20 is essential to lifting the cup!

    I think if he plays more consistently with top guys he’d hit higher numbers too.

    Yeah Baby!


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