Sather: prospect Kreider could be called up

Chris Kreider smiles after the Rangers selected him

Chris Kreider smiles after the Rangers selected him 19th overall in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal. (Credit: Getty Images)

NEWARK -- Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather, who steadfastly refused to include Boston College forward Chris Kreider in a trade package for Blue Jacket Rick Nash, didn't name him in his pre-game comments on deadline day.

But Sather was more forthcoming in an interview with broadcaster Dave Starman on CBS Sports, suggesting that Kreider could join the team this season.

"I don't say it's a guaranteed jump, but he has all the credentials. I don't think there's going to be a problem, if he's mentally ready," Sather said in a phone call during a Boston College game against Vermont on Saturday.

"He's developed his hockey sense. It's been a good move for him to stay in college for a couple years," he said of Kreider, 21, the club's 2009 first-round draft choice who will graduate in April. "Gordie Clark [director of player personnel] is very positive about him.

"We're looking forward to having him come here, especially with all the injuries we've been having," Sather said. "He's a great skater, he's got size [6-3] and he's one of the fastest players I've seen."

Ice chips

Brian Leetch will be honored at the John Halligan-Dick McGuire Irish-American Good Guy Awards luncheon March 14 at Gallagher's Steak House in Manhattan. Tickets are $85 (212-972-5337). The fundraiser benefits the John Halligan Memorial Scholarship at Fordham . . . Defenseman Anton Stralman, who had played 40 straight games but was benched for the third period against the Bruins on Sunday after committing two giveaways, was a healthy scratch.

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