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Chris Kreider is the Rangers star prospect. After a dazzling introduction to the NHL during the playoffs, Kreider is now playing with the Whale during the lockout. How's he doing?
Not terrible but certainly not setting the world on fire. Through 17 games, Kreider has four goals and six assists. To put it in context, Kreider had seven points in 18 playoff games.
Now, if Kreider had seven points in 18 playoff games, in some of the most hard-fought, intense hockey in the world, then it would be logical to think that Kreider would dominate the AHL—so why isn't he?
Well it's tough to say, but the main thing is to not panic. It's been 17 games and he has more points in that span than he did during the playoffs. In addition, the AHL is a much improved league from last season, with plenty of marquee names biding their time during the lockout.
Furthermore, teams are going to focus all their energy on defending him. While that was the case at Boston College, the players in the AHL are much better than they were in college. So Kreider has to adjust to that, and it's something he didn't face during the playoffs.
If Kreider hits a slump and doesn't hit double digits in goals through the course of the season, then it might be time to panic.
But for now, let's all take a deep breath. Kreider's playoff performance is a much better indication of his skills than 17 games in the minors.
Read Alex Davidow's column for a more in-depth look into Kreider's performance with the Whale. Not to get you in a even more panicky state, but Kreider did get hurt in Sunday's game:
At least it's not serious. Essentially, I believe that Kreider will break out soon and in a big way. He's a star in the making.