We got an opportunity to speak to New York Rangers 21st overall selection Filip Chytil this past weekend about a variety of topics. The below is our interview. Everything in block quotes is from Chytil.
For full disclosure: Chytil’s first language is not English, so I cleaned up some of his answers. None of the context of the answers were altered or adjusted.
Blueshirt Banter: What was the jump from the Czech U20 league to the men's league like? Did you have any trouble adjusting?
When I started to train with men it was something New for me. Players are older, more experienced, smarter, and stronger. But after couple games I got used to the style of hockey they play.
Blueshirt Banter: Do you think you'll need to adjust your game to the North American style?
I want to play in NHL this season but it's a long way play there and a lot of hard work. No matter where I play this season I will try to play my best and show the Rangers that I can play in NHL as soon as possible.
Blueshirt Banter: What was it like being drafted by the New York Rangers? Were they a team on your radar?
It was the best feeling to hear my name and go to podium knowing that I am a part of the New York Rangers. I Love these colours, and I know the Rangers are the most famous and the best team in NHL with the best fans in world.
Blueshirt Banter: What are your thoughts for playing for an organization with so much history in the NHL?
Being selected [by the Rangers] is a big honor for me. It’s another reason why I will work harder than then other players because I want to be part of the team as soon as possible.
Blueshirt Banter: What was your favorite moment from Prospects Camp after you were drafted?
I enjoyed the whole week. I am glad I was able to meet all people from management and of course getting to do some training and scrimmages. But the best moment was being able to visit the Madison Square Garden.
Blueshirt Banter: How important was it to sign your ELC as soon as you did?
I am really happy [to have signed it], it is next step to NHL.
Blueshirt Banter: You've compared yourself to Auston Matthews before, but what type of player do you want to become in the NHL?
I want to be top six player.
Joe’s Thoughts: There’s currently some rumors about where Chytil will be plying his trade next year. Some people are reporting he’ll be coming over to North America (whether it is junior hockey or the AHL remains to be seen) while others seem to believe he’ll stay in the Czech Extraliga playing pro hockey.
I am in the camp that remaining with a men’s team playing a major role is best for his development, and I’m not sure a move to the “we’re trying to re-build this thing for the fifth straight year” Hartford Wolf Pack makes sense, but we’ll see. Chytil clearly impressed in prospect camp, and he might get a nice look in the preseason.
Chytil, by the way, is coming off a two-game stint for the U20 Czech team where he posted two goals in as many games and impressed a lot of the people who kept an eye on the scrimmages. We talked about this a bit on the podcast last week, as well.
He seems to be really excited about being drafted by the Rangers, and I know that he’s gone from “who did they just pick” to “he’s going to be the greatest player ever” in record time.
In truth, Chytil was a guy I’m sure a lot of teams passed over in terms of scouting because of his age, and he does have a feel of a guy who is going to make them regret it. The NHL this year is a long shot, but there’s a lot to love about where the kid is at his age, and where he can be.
Next year he’ll be an 18-year-old with THREE years of professional experience. Think about that for a minute. There’s plenty of reasons to be very. very excited for Chytil. How proud he is to be a New York Ranger is just another one of them.