5 Things Rookie Chris Kreider Brings to the New York Rangers
Recent 2012 NCAA Ice Hockey Champion Chris Kreider lived any college-aged hockey fan's dream these past two weeks.
Kreider and his Boston College Golden Eagles won the Division I Championship on April 7, and three days later, Kreider found himself practicing with the New York Rangers amid a Stanley Cup push.
While Kreider has only averaged around 11 minutes in his two games played, he brings immeasurable benefits to New York.
Kreider is no stranger to a large stage, having participated in four international tournaments, including the IIHF World Under 20 Championship and the World Ice Hockey Championship.
In 2010, team USA took home the gold medal in the World Under 20 Championship with Kreider scoring six goals in seven games. The team also brought home the bronze in the 2011 games, with the then 19-year-old tallying four goals in six games.
His performances on the international stage prove the rookie will not be deterred in his first few games on the NHL level.
This kid can flat out play.
In his 116 games at Boston College, Kreider had 95 points (51 goals, 44 assists). This means that Kreider neared a point per game during his college career and made an impact every time he touched the ice.
His ability to score will provide the starved Rangers with additional secondary scoring that could prove influential down the stretch.
This kid can flat out fly. His skates must be made by P.F. Flyers, or he's the main star in hockey's version of "The Fast and the Furious."
The speed Kreider demonstrated on his first shift as a Ranger was noticeable. Sure he is almost certainly on an adrenaline rush like no other, but he flew around NHL players.
Kreider supplies the Rangers with an additional body that can be utilized throughout the playoffs.
While forward Mats Zuccarello is out indefinitely with a fractured wrist and Carl Hagelin is finishing up his three game suspension, Kreider is a key body the Rangers need to relieve extended minutes for Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.
Kreider will likely become a consistent scratch starting in Game 6 of the series. However, he does provide John Tortorella an option given the offensive struggles of Derek Stepan, John Mitchell and Brandon Dubinsky.
Once upon a time Sean Avery provided the Rangers with a spark that often propelled the team to victory. It seemed when the playoffs rolled around, that spark grew into a full-blown fire.
Avery is gone now, his skates sleeping with the fishes in the Hudson River.
Kreider does not seem to slow down while on the rink, and the energy he brings could provide the Rangers a renewed injection of determination.