With their acquisition of Rick Nash, there is an enormous amount of pressure on this New York Rangers club, all over the roster. Also expected to feel the weight of high expectations is rookie forward Chris Kreider.
Kreider has yet to appear in a regular season game, but the Blueshirts and their fans are expecting Kreider to become a future superstar. He can thank an impressive postseason debut for those somewhat lofty expectations.
Signed out of Boston College after his junior year, the Rangers added Kreider to the lineup despite the fact that he had never stepped on NHL ice. But his five goals, including three against the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, may lead you to believe otherwise.
The question for Kreider is going to be whether or not he can carry that success into the new season, whenever it actually begins. He has the size and the speed to be an instant threat out on the ice. But I’d expect at least some sort of adjustment period, whether it’s at the beginning of the year or a quiet stretch at some point during the season.
Regardless of whether or not his inexperience will hurt him in his first year, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s in as good a situation as possible. He’ll likely start the year next to Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan. He already has a rapport with Stepan, and Callahan is an asset on any line.
If Chris Kreider was on almost any other team, there might be some concern over whether or not he could live up to the hype swirling around him. But this is an experienced, talented team, perfect for any young player. He has plenty of guys around him that will help to keep the pressure off.
It won’t come without his growing pains, but with what we saw in the postseason and his current situation with the Rangers, Chris Kreider is going to be a star in this league in the very near future.