What’s next for rookie center Filip Chytil?
Chytil, who played just 12 minutes in the first two games and was benched for the third, was assigned on Tuesday to Hartford of the AHL, where he will play two games with the Wolf Pack this weekend.
Head coach Alain Vigneault described the evaluation as day-by-day, and set no timetable for any decisions on Chytil’s next step. “We felt he needed to play,” Vigneault said. “We haven’t quite made up our mind on him and the makeup of our team.”
The two AHL games — or more — won’t affect the contract status of Chytil, 18, who was the 21st overall selection in the June draft. He could still be sent home to play for his Czech Republic team. He can play up to nine NHL games before burning a year on his entry-level contract.
Pavel Buchnevich, who spent time in Hartford as a rookie last season, said the minor-league stint “helped me. I played a lot of minutes. It’s a tough league, more physical than the NHL.”
The AHL, said Chris Kreider, is “a developmental league for a reason.”
Smith sits again
Brendan Smith, 28, who signed a four-year, $17.4-million contract during the summer and was benched for the defeat of the Canadiens Sunday, was a healthy scratch again. Fellow defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, 21, who dressed Sunday but was used sparingly as a seventh blueliner, also wasn’t in the lineup. “What Smitty and Anthony have to do is stay ready, and when they get the opportunity, they’ve got to force me to keep them in the lineup,” Vigneault said. “On defense we’ve got eight guys who, in our estimation, can play in the NHL. There’s good internal competition.”
With the arrival of Adam Cracknell, who played Tuesday after being claimed off waivers from Dallas, veteran forward Andrew Desjardins was released from his tryout.