SourceBut perhaps the most surprising sight was that of Chris Kreider, the 2009 first rounder who will be returning to Boston College for his junior season this year, who was also taking part in the workout.
Due to his scehdule at BC, Kreider will not be playing in Traverse City and will not be at Rangers' training camp. But before heading back to school this weekend, Kreider wanted to come to New York and show his future teammates that he is fully committed to the organization.
"I needed to get my skates in, and getting to know some of the guys better is definitely a plus," Kreider explained to me after the workout. "I hope I get to the NHL and play with these guys sooner rather than later. I'd really like to be at this level. It's something you dream about as a kid. But right now I want them to know my commitment is there."
Kreider is committed to his hockey career. But he is also committed to academics. That is why he accelerated the process towards earning his degree by taking four courses at BC this summer. And it is one of the reasons why he is returning to college with a full course load this fall as opposed to turning pro.
"You want to focus on professional hockey when that time comes," said Kreider, who recorded 11 goals and 24 points in 32 games with the Eagles a year ago as a sophomore. "I know my decision (to stay in school) was heavily scrutinized from the outside, but it's been hammered into me how important my eductaion is and now is the time to take care of that. I don't want (finishing school) hanging over my head once I turn pro. I just want to focus on hockey at that point."
Though it was just an hour-long workout lacking the intensity of what will be seen in training camp, for example, Kreider certainly looked to fit in quite well with the NHL talent he skated with on Thursday. The 20 year-old Kreider displayed his trademark elite-level skating ability during drills and the scrimmage, along with some neat offensive moves during the 6-on-6 scrimmage. And he proved to be in top condition, too, during the sprints and endurance skating Callahan called for at the end of the workout.
Despite how seamlessly it seemed he fit in, Kreider believes that he will benefit greatly from another year of playing at Boston College before turning pro.
"If anything, I will be more ready to go next year," Kreider explained to me. "I really haven't played a lot of games in college---40 my first year, just 32 last year due to the (broken jaw) injury---so the more games I get in the better before I come here. I have had the experience of playing in the World Juniors and the World Championships, but this year I will have a different role on the ice and can be more of a leader. It will be good for me."
As for goal-setting this year, in typical Kreider fashion his goals have nothing to do with how many pucks he puts in the net or how many points he earns.
It's all about the team when it comes to Kreider, who helped BC win the NCAA National Championship as a freshman and was a member of Team USA's gold and bronze medal winning teams at the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championships.
"I haven't set individual goals, to be honest, I just want to win games," said Kreider. "If I focus on that, everything else will fall into place. My only goal is to play at a level that will help us win games."
Jesper Fasth had 5 points in a game last night. 1 goal, 4 assists. 9 points in 7 games in the SEL. Very impressive.
Was watching the Anaheim St.Louis game tonight, Grachev had a real good game, so much so they moved him up to the first line. Wonder why he couldn't do that in the AHL or NHL wth our team....weird.
I think it should be mandatory in our organization unless we have a player like Crosby or Stamkos drafted that our picks spend the first year with the AHL team, no call ups nothing, and maybe even the second. To me when a player is thrown into the fire from junior or college it's too big of a jump and they are more likely to fail than not. Not sure if this was the problem with Grachev or not, but he came out of junior one of the best players in junior and ended up getting a cup of tea in the NHL and then was barely on the AHL team. I wonder if the hype gets to them and then the crushing reality or maybe the jump is too big. I realize it's only one game I've watched him play with St.Louis but he looked like a totally different player.
Miller had 2 goals and I think Thomas did too. Hagelin also had 2 goals in the AHL. I hope we see him get a shot for EC soon, but if they wanted to send MZA down to play, then they probably wont bring someone else up.
Newbury was brought up, I think that's the right decision, he's gonna be a good compliment on either the 3rd or 4th line, he's paid his dues, I mean he's a point a game guy in the AHL with our organization, so I think he deserves his shot.
From a couple days ago, but still good to see. Really think he can be something and happy he went to Juniors rather then College. He was pretty impressive in camp and preseason too.
St. Croix has been on a tear lately. 4 points last night. Kreider just doesn't impress that much in college. Honestly, he once again is not in the top 10 in scoring. He's simply not dominating that league and he should be. McIlrath is facing a suspension. Lord only knows for how long.
I enjoy the HF boards who continue to want to fill our team with soft, inconsistent, lazy Russian prospects instead of drafting a beast like McIlrath. That's because as we all know, teams that win cups have lots of Russian players on them. LMAO!
Eh, I'm far from worried about Kreider. He was drafted with it well aware that he was a project, just like McIlrath. There's a lot you have to understand about Kreider and a lot to appreciate once you do.
1) We drafted him as one of the youngest kids in his draft class and knowing he was still only at prep school. We knew that we would have to be very patient and at the time it was a very high risk/high reward.
2) That being said, we also knew he was going to college. He's not a glory-first kind of kid. It was known that he was going to do the best thing possible for himself and that would be go get a degree and not rush himself.
3) Boston College is a very particular school. I mean that in the sense that the coaching staff will give the reigns to the senior members. If you've put in your hard work and time for 3 (or even 2 if you're a Junior) years and are helping them win, you far from have to worry about a highly-touted prospect taking your ice time. It wont happen, not to mention they were both very good teams that had plenty of veteran guys leading the charge (en route to winning a National Championship)
4) He's a power forward, we gave Grachev the benefit of the doubt for so long for the same reason. Same as Jessiman. These players take more time to develop, especially depending on their growth curve and dedication. Kreider has been growing, he probably has peaked height wise but he's still going to be filling out and bulking up into a much more physical and dominating frame. The other thing with this is that power forwards are always constantly adjust their game to their size and always trying to compensate that size back into speed. Just as they keep growing and having to adjust to new levels of competition and new roles etc they are still growing and growing.
To me, if you want a quicker more summed up version, look at Bobby Ryan's career. Drafted directly behind Sid. Both immensely talented (obviously Crosby more so) but look how long it took Ryan to break into the league. Not only that he was still adjusting and now he is such a highly touted young player in the league with a general recognition he will still get better.
Things to appreciate from Kreider considering all that?
1) His speed. Despite always being such a large kid and having that power forward frame the kid absolutely flies. I've heard rumblings from analysts and what not who predict he will be the fastest guy in the league when he breaks in. True? Who knows but where there's smoke there's fire.
2) The skill on the kid. He has some very nice hands and a very nice shot.
3) The World Junior gold. That was a big stage for him and he answered the call in a big way. College hockey, IMO, is still not a great indicator of how a player will perform in the pros. Sure great success (Derek Stepan) is very comforting but just cause Kreider isn't putting up points like a prospect in the CHL will doesn't mean much to me. Kreider having had the success he did there is a bigger indicator then the results at Boston College.
4) His dedication. The kid is getting his degree in 3 years (I believe he's going to be ready to graduate), he's gotten into any Rangers team organized function possible. He gets it and he's doing everything possible to do it right.
5) Despite the way BC runs the program, in his underclassmen years he was a very effective bottom 6 guy. I wish I could know how much ice he averaged but he contributed in his roles very effectively. Not to mention that he's shown some flashes of beauty so far in his career with his mix of speed and skill.
Needless to say, he's my favorite Ranger drafted in a while and I can't wait for him to start getting pro experience.
Speaking of Kreider
SourceSenior alternate captain Barry Almeida tied the score at 2-2 while skating shorthanded with 2:19 left in the third period and junior Chris Kreider broke the tie with 38.8 seconds remaining in the game to lift the fifth-ranked Eagles to a 3-2 victory over eight-ranked Yale before a sellout crowd of 3,500 fans at David S. Ingalls Rink on Saturday.
Kreider has 18 points (10 goals and 8 assists) in 14 games, well over a PPG. He's tied for 12th in division one in points 8th in goals and almost everyone ahead of him has played more games. The season's not even halfway over, but I'm not seeing the problem with his statistics. Although he hasn't put up the gaudy statistics he has picked up the other facets of the game. He doesnt just skate and shoot. He forechecks, he does the dirty work in the corners, he looks to set up his teammates on the ice, he can play the point or the slot in the PP. Torts will love this guy.
Check out the first post in the page guys, I'm gonna update the prospect stats to make this more of an actual prospect thread lol. Let me know which other prospects you guys want there, i just put the main ones there. I'll put goalies and stats shortly, though we don't have any notable goalies to speak of.