BUFFALO NY - DECEMBER 28: Chris Kreider #19 of the United States looks to make a play on Dominik Riecicky #30 of Slovakia during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between the United States and Slovakia on December 28 2010 in Buffalo New York. The United Staes won 6-1. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Just about 24 hours after signing his first professional contract, Chris Kreider joined the New York Rangers for practice in Tarrytown, NY. If you missed it, you can check out our article from yesterday, which breakdowns the signing of Kreider, and the numbers involved with his contract.
As soon as Kreider touched the ice this morning for practice, the first year of his three-year entry-level contract vanished. The Rangers obviously signed this guy because they feel that he can make an immediate impact. Now on to the morning practice news. Kreider skated with the line of Brian Boyle, Brandon Dubinsky, and Ruslan Fedotenko, but remained as an extra during drills.
So as of right now, it appears that Kreider is just getting in practice time with the Rangers, and getting to know the "Tortorella" system. I would really be surprised if he found himself in the lineup for Thursday's game, but that's all up to John Tortorella, as my thoughts are meaningless to him.
Follow after the jump for some more.
Follow practice, Kreider met with the New York media for the first time, and answered a few questions. Kreider stated that he knows that he has to earn a spot on this team, and nothing will be handed to him simply like that.
"I have no expectations coming in...just going to try and be a sponge"
"They definitely sent the message that if you want to play you're going to have to prove you are ready to play"
Kreider also mentioned that he considered calling it a season, and joining the Rangers next season in training camp. However, he stated that the Rangers pushed him to sign on now, and join them for their playoff run this season. He also understands that taking a jump for the college level to the NHL level is completely different, and it takes time to adapt.
There couldn't be a better way to go about things, and Chris is doing just that. It shows that Kreider is willing to learn and do whatever it takes for him to make it to the next level. The Rangers definitely have a good piece of the future on their hands with this kid.
John Tortorella also shared some insight on Kreider joining the Rangers, and how players need to prove themselves during the post-season.
"We're happy he's here and he's a Ranger...from here we'll go day by day...this is a man we feel has a great future"
"All players are defined by what they do in the playoffs...no one is exempt from that"
***UPDATE***: People seem to be misunderstanding me and think that I am totally against Kreider coming on board. I just wanted to let you know that it is basically the complete opposite, and I would love to see him get some playoff time. However, while I'd like for that to happen, I'm also being realistic as well. In the end, it's all up to John Tortorella. I've been a fan of Kreider since he was back in Boston College.