2009 NHL Draft: More on Rangers pick Chris Kreider

Whew! Sorry about this delayed post everyone, I had some serious log in problems. Here is a little more on Chris Kreider:

The Rangers chose (or were unable to, or were un-interested) not to move up or down in the draft, so they sat pretty at 19. The Rangers used that 19th overall pick to select Chris Kreider a center from Andover, a prep school. This past year he had 33 goals and 23 assists for 56 points in 26 games. His calling card is his speed; many scouts say that right now he would be one of the fastest skaters in the NHL. In the scouting combine every player who is there is ranked on a scale of 1-10 in different categories. Well for skating Kreider ranked first overall scoring a 9.81, which is even more impressive considering that he is 6' 2" and 200 pounds. The kid has size and speed, which is exactly what was on the menu for John Tortorella.

After the pick Pierre McGuire had this to say: "He has dynamite speed. A lot of scouts say he might be the best prospect out of New England since Brian Leetch and that's pretty big praise." That's hefty praise for a young man who happens to be only 18 years of age. Various scouts had him being picked between 14 and 31 in this year's draft.

Gordie Clark was very keen on this pick for the Rangers, he had this to say (quote from Steve Zippay over at Newsday):

"It's the first thing [his speed] that stands out when you see him. He had 33 goals in 26 games at Phillips Andover. He's an elite, elite athlete physically, mentally. He's ripped. He blew through the combine in Toronto and he still has room to grow. He'll get thicker. He's gonna be a one or two year player wherever he goes. That's for his family and advisors to decide. He's a very intelligent kid. He can shoot a puck at full speed from the tops of the circle. He gets a lot of breakaways because he's so bloody fast. He's got that Alexander Mogilny-type speed. He's going to a great school. He can get the puck almost anytime he wants. We tried to move up to get him, as one of the guys we were keying on. We tried four or five teams and they were happy with what they had. So many teams had this guy in to test him. Everybody was there watching him through the year."

Here is My NHL Draft's scouting report on him (they had him going 21st overall):

"Chris Kreider a dominating player, who dangles in tight spaces at high speed, cuts hard to the net, and is arguably one of the top skaters in this draft at any position. He is so strong on the puck that if the opposition doesn't stop him in that neutral zone, they are gonna have bigger problems when Chris gets the the pistons at top churn. One stride to top speed. His downside is being from a New England Prep school, Phillips Andover, the competition is far less a measuring stick than players in Junior A."

NHL.com had this to say about him in their scouting report:  

"Chris is an excellent skater with explosive speed and acceleration. His short-distance speed is exceptional. He sees the play ahead of time and knows what he's going to do with the puck as soon as he gets it. He is an excellent passer and playmaker. His foot speed, combined with his anticipation and quick stick, gives him the ability to create turnovers and gain puck possession. He is a constant threat to develop breakaways on the penalty-killing unit. He has both an excellent wrist and slap shot, which he disguises well and releases quickly. He can score goals in a number of ways."

A little more information on the pick for you all to take in. He is currently a junior and has already verbally committed to Boston College (always a good sign when your prospects play for BC) for the start of the 2010 season. As you can see it's a little hard to make any real statements other than the Rangers got a guy who can really be a diamond in the rough, no one has seen any flaws in his game. He is quite clearly the best of the best on the high school level this year, and the Rangers were lucky enough to nab him. If you were watching the draft the announcers on TSN absolutely LOVED this pick by the Rangers. Apparently the Devils wanted him very, very, very badly (also another very good sign) and were unable to trade up in order to get him.

As you can see the Rangers did good here. They got the size they desperately needed, and now they have two guys (Stepan is the other prospect in the organization) with blazing speed who could easily be in the top 20 for speed in the NHL right now.

Oh and in my search I did a little look-see on SB Nation and Die by the Blade (the Sabres blog) had this to say about him:

"He has the opportunity to be the best offensive player in this entire draft.  He has all the tools that will help him succeed in the NHL and he appears to have the desire to succeed as well.  He is big, strong, fast and he is creative with the puck.  He could be a steal with the number 13 pick."

A steal at the number 13 pick huh? How about at the 19th pick? Want a prediction for the 2nd round? Rangers trade up and nab Russian phenom Alex Avtsyn. His numbers, 56 goals 54 assists 110 points in 73 games (although in the Russia 3 league), look awesome to me. Check out his profile here on NHL.com.  

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