Chris Kreider burst onto the scene last year for the New York Rangers, injecting new life into a Rangers attack in the playoffs. Kreider scored five goals in his first 18 games in the NHL, all of them in the playoffs. A lot was expected of him heading into this season but Kreider seemed to get lost on the ice at times and committed several goofy penalties at inopportune moments. Kreider was averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time a night, a number that was shrinking on an almost nightly basis.
The Rangers, for now, have sent their star prospect to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL to get him the ice time he needs to develop his game. Kreider was originally sent down to the Whale on February 15th, a plan that was quickly altered when Rick Nash went down with an undisclosed injury. However, Nash’s return on Thursday prompted the Rangers to retry their Kreider-development program.
Kreider has the potential to be a star in the NHL. He demonstrated that last year in the playoffs. It looked as if Kreider was trying to do too much at times this season and would often choose contact with an opponent instead of just going after the puck. One could say that he was overplaying instead of going with the flow of the game.
Kreider will benefit from the increased ice time in Connecticut where he will be able to get his confidence up and work on going with the tempo of the game and, at times, making the game flow through him with his speed and his ability to shoot the puck.
Kreider might not be back until much later this season, if he comes back at all this year. Rangers fans need not worry, Kreider will be back and he should be back for good next time.