Kreider injury could be big loss for Rangers, trade deadline

The New York Rangers won’t be the only upset team if the injury to Chris Kreider is serious.

Kreider left Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury and did not return. Judging by the above video of Mika Zibanejad accidentally kneeing Kreider in the head, it’s not surprising that Kreider’s night was over.

It’s certainly fair to wonder if Kreider will miss more than just Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Red Wings.

By most accounts, the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline field was already pretty shallow. Take Kreider out, and there’s even less premium talent. Aside from, say, maybe the Montreal Canadiens possibly getting more for Tomas Tatar, everyone loses.

Despite not knowing much about his future in a contract year, Kreider has enjoyed a strong 2019-20. The speedy, physical winger scored 18 goals and 35 points in 50 games so far this season. Those numbers also don’t tell the full story, as he’s an underrated all-around player. Take, for instance, how strong RAPM charts look at Evolving Hockey:

Chris Kreider injury rapm charts

It would be a shame if Kreider cannot be healthy by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, as he seems like a player who would fit in well in a variety of different contending situations.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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