Chris Kreider has had a, shall we say, interesting development track going from three years at Boston College that included two national championships to putting up 12 points in 20 playoff games in 2011/2012 to being a healthy scratch/4th liner/AHLer last season. Now, though, Kreider is finally hitting his stride as a player (after a brief AHL stint to start the year). Since he was called up, Kreider's been the Rangers best forward and is starting to prove that he belongs in the NHL.
After his hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks, the rest of the hockey world began to realize what the Rangers and their fans have known almost all season. Pundits everywhere started figuring out that a) Kreider has really turned himself around and b) hey, he still has Calder eligibility since he didn't play in 23 regular season games last year. Now the question becomes, not should he be getting praise as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate, but how serious should that praise be?
Let's take a look at the top 10 rookies in terms of points.
(Warning: There will be stats, and numbers and all of that fun stuff ahead. You've been warned)
(Honorable Mention to American Hero Seth Jones, who may not have the points but is definitely in this discussion)
So, what does all of this mean?
Well, in 6 fewer games Chris Kreider is only 6 points shy of rookie scoring leader and ruiner of backup goalie careers Tomas Hertl and has a more sustainable shooting percentage (No player, not even Sid or Ovechkin can sustain 17.3%). Kreider is also driving and maintaining possession while facing teams top lines as compared to other rookies (Torey Krug, for example, is basically getting Michael Del Zotto like deployment and is getting his shots through).
Among the top ten point getters among rookies, Kreider has also taken the 5th least number of shots and while the shooting percentage may fall, his number of shots will rise which will increase his goal totals. (The opposite goes with Nathan MacKinnon, he's gonna take fewer shots but a better percentage of them will start going in for him as time goes by)
So, to tie this up in a nice, neat little bow, Chris Kreider has been not only scoring goals, but has been driving the Rangers offense this year and as the season goes on his Calder buzz is going to skyrocket as the numbers start to even themselves out.
And some of you thought he'd be a 3rd liner at best.