Sunday, June 28, 2009

"I’m on a good team"

Well, it's good that someone thinks we're a good team. And that someone is the NY Rangers first round pick from Friday's NHL draft, Chris Kreider

It will be a little while before we see much of Chris in the NHL - he's just finished high school and is headed off to Boston college to get some schooling and play some hockey. But we figure Chris will play one or two years at BU at most before turning pro.

Here's a collection of positive quotes from a thrilled Gordie Clark, Director of NY Ranger Player Personnel about the 19th overall draft selection:

  • “This is an elite, elite athlete. He’s elite physically and mentally. He’s ripped. He blew right through the [player evaluation] combine in Toronto.’’

  • “He has [Alexander ] Mogilny-type speed. He’s almost what you’d call a rover out there, he’s so fast. From point A to B, he’s the quickest guy in the draft.

  • "He's the fastest kid in the draft, flat-out. He dominates with speed,"

  • "He can shoot a puck at full speed, and from the top of the circles, which is, that's a sniper range. He gets a lot of breakaways because he's so bloody fast."

Quickness is a key factor in the NHL - it's different than speed (although Kreider has both) - and it's something you can't coach. Quickness in the NHL translates into puck possession - both in keeping the puck when you have it and capturing it from the other team when you don't.

So forgive us for being optimistic about the big, fast, young, quick American forward with the sneaky fast shot. When a player is picked he's all upside and all potential - so what's not to like.

When asked, Chris said he thinks of himself as a speedy Left Winger who crashes the net and creates opportunities.

Our Rangers seem to have handled this part of the draft very well. They never tipped their hand about Kreider to anyone - so no other team scooped him up first. In fact - they never contacted Chris at all so that he wouldn't be able to mention the Ranger's interest to anyone. In fact Chis thought the Rangers weren't interested and was surprised and thrilled when his name was called.

So well done Slats - and welcome Chris Kreider to the Blueshirt Brotherhood.

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