While it may seem like he's been with the Rangers for seemingly ever, last season was only the 2nd full season for Chris Kreider and it was another step forward in what is shaping up to be a very good career for the young left winger from Massachusetts.
As with most Rangers forwards, Kreider had a slow start to the year was bouncing from line to line eventually stick with Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis which would become the Rangers worst non 4th line combination in terms of driving play and sustaining offensive pressure.
Even with the uneven possession game, Kreider continued to learn the NHL game on the fly while still putting up top 6 scoring production even with not getting as much power play time as he did the season before. While there were still growing pains for Kreider to deal with, especially with his zone play and definitely with his defensive play, you could see on the ice and on the score sheet that Kreider was definitely taking steps forward into becoming a very good to elite power forward in the NHL.
When the playoffs rolled around, Kreider added to his pretty impressive playoffs resume by adding 7-2-9 in 19 playoffs games to bring his playoff career total to 18-13-31 in 60 career playoff games and he's only 24 years old. Kreider also added this nifty little shot (and sure, if you wanna use the "clutch" label you can) to his playoff highlight reel.
This shot is actually something Kreider needs to work on for next season; he has such a great, underutilized release that he needs to learn how to become more of a shooting threat off the puck in the offensive zone.
Offense: Kreider put up 21-25-46 in 80gp last season which came to be identical per60 rates to the 2013-14 season.
Final Grade: B
Possession (Fancy Stats): Kreider finished the year with a 55.1% possession share (down from 60.2% possession the season before) and a CFRel of 6.6% (again down from last season, which sat at 9.6%). While the St. Louis factor does weigh in here, as well getting more defensive zone starts this year, it was a bit of a down turn in possession from almost elite to slightly above average and with better linemates this year I expect the numbers to be back up around the 60s. Final Grade: C
Final Grade: No real leaps and bounds by Kreider this past season, just more consistent and solid play for the most of the season that also showed off some of the areas of the game he needs to work on. I'd like to see more dimensionality to his offensive game (a cut back move to change the angles and setting himself up for one timers) as being more noticeable in the zone to help his teammates. Final Grade: B-