Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
BC's Chris Kreider agrees to terms of 3-year, entry-level deal
Highly-touted prospect Chris Kreider, just days after winning a second NCAA Championship with Boston College, has agreed on terms of an entry-level deal with the Rangers and could possibly appear in the Stanley Cup playoffs if the Rangers have a deep run.
Kreider, 20, was the club’s No. 1 draft choice in 2009 (19th overall), and had 22 goals and 43 points in 42 games with the Eagles in this, his junior year. The 6-3, 225-pound right wing, who is expected to sign the deal and join the team on Wednesday, is eligible to play for the Rangers because he was on the team's reserve list at the Feb. 27 trading deadline.
If he dresses in the playoffs, he would use up an entry-level year. Players are not paid for the playoffs, and Kreider apparently would receive a games-played bonus. Or he could be sent to AHL Hartford first.
It is unclear hosw fast the Blueshirts will rush the youngster into the lineup. Derek Stepan made the club out of training camp last season after foregoing his junior year at the University of Wisconsin, but three other Rangers who graduated from U.S. colleges---Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh and Brian Boyle---played in the AHL.
"I had more time to think about it over the summer and prepare myself the best I could, but it's definitely a big jump," said Stepan. Said Hagelin, who played four years in Michigan, then spent 17 games with the Connecticut Whale: “You’ve got to be a lot smarter up here, for sure.”
Kreider, a Boxford, Mass., native, has excelled on the international level. In 2010, he scored six goals for the gold-medal winning U.S. World Junior team and four more for the bronze-medal team in 2011. The ten goals tied him with John LeClair and Mike Modano for third all time among U.S. players in the championships.
The Rangers suggested that Kreider, who starred in prep school at Phillips Andover Academy (Mass.), consider playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after the draft, but the teenager and his family opted for Boston College.
Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather rebuffed efforts by the Columbus Blue Jackets to include Kreider, who has remarkable speed for his size, in a package for Rick Nash at the trade deadline, and the front office did not try to hide the fact that they wanted to sign him as soon as possible.
"We're anxious to get him involved in pro hockey because we think he's got some good stuff to offer and want to get him tracked up here with us as soon as possible," coach John Tortorella said last year.
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