Following Chris Kreider’s NHL debut, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella said: “Who knows what happens next year with him?” The team was so excited to sign him that an exec literally camped out to sign Kreider to his first contract, but his role remains a wild card.
Kreider’s boasts impressive size while his speed and instincts were also evident at times during his first playoff run. Overall, Kreider scored five goals and seven points in those 18 contests (including two game-winners) while registering a -4 rating and averaging 13:09 minutes per game. His five goals also broke a record for players who began their careers in the postseason.
It’s unclear how that will translate into a full season of play, although training camp might allow Tortorella a chance to provide some lessons he put off months ago.
“We’re not doing a lot of teaching and a lot of structure with him. It’s just the wrong time,” Tortorella said. “There’s enough things going through his head where we just want him to play. He’s had some breakdowns away from the puck. Those are things we’ve tried to teach a little bit but not too much.”