Kreider article in the times today, nothing earth shattering but some good quotes.
Help for the Rangers Waits in the Wings at Boston College
By CHRISTOPHER BOTTA
Published: February 12, 2012
The Rangers’ need for a fast and powerful forward with a scoring touch could be filled in the next few months, but not by a trade or an expensive free-agent signing. The Rangers’ best prospect is playing for fifth-ranked Boston College in the championship game of the 60th annual Beanpot tournament on Monday at TD Garden in Boston.
Chris Kreider, the Rangers’ first-round draft pick in 2009, will probably sign with the team at the end of his college season, which will be no later than the N.C.A.A. title game on April 7. Kreider, a 20-year-old junior, could be available to play for the Rangers or their minor league affiliate in Connecticut at the end of the season and in the playoffs.
Kreider declined to divulge his plans in a recent interview. Jerry York, the Boston College coach, would only say that Kreider faced an important decision.
“I’ll sit down with Chris at the end of our season,” said York, the Eagles’ coach for the last 18 years. “The question I always ask top prospects in his situation is, ‘Do you want to finish your collegiate career with the teammates in your graduating class?’ That’s a big deal for many college players.”
Kreider pondered the same question after his sophomore year. The Rangers wanted him, but Kreider decided another year at Boston College would help his education and his game.
“It probably would have put a damper on my development as a hockey player,” Kreider said of playing in the Rangers’ system this season.
The decision to stay in college has worked in his favor. Kreider leads the Eagles in scoring this season with 18 goals and 33 points in 29 games, already setting highs for his college career. He was 6 feet 1 inch and 205 pounds when he arrived at Boston College but is now listed at 6-3 and 225 pounds.
He has also shown a knack for big plays. In April 2010, Kreider scored in Boston College’s 5-0 victory over Wisconsin in the N.C.A.A. championship game. As a member of the American team at the World Junior Championship, the international competition for players under 20, Kreider won a gold medal in 2010 and a bronze in 2011. And last month, Kreider scored the decisive goal while killing a penalty in Boston College’s 2-1 win over Northeastern at Fenway Park.
The Eagles won the Beanpot the past two years and will face top-ranked Boston University in this year’s final. Kreider is 9-0 in games at TD Garden, a run that includes five victories in the Beanpot and consecutive titles in the Hockey East tournament.
“I’ve made some pretty big strides,” Kreider said. “I’m learning from a great coaching staff here, so I’m just trying to take advantage of that. I’m continuing to work on puck protection, getting my shot off in traffic and in tight areas, disguising my shot more, shooting off the rush.”
Scouts predict Kreider will be a 30-goal scorer in the N.H.L., and they say he could be productive from the start of his career.
“Chris has the strength and speed of a pro,” said Gordie Clark, the Rangers’ director of player personnel. “He has a pretty rare ability to create offense on his own, and he has developed every aspect of his game while in a great college hockey program. He has a chance to be a valuable player for us in the near future.”
Kreider has prepared for the opportunity. Keeping a promise to his parents to make his education a priority, Kreider completed four courses last summer to accelerate the process of earning his degree from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. On the ice, he continues to work on his speed, which is on a par with the Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, a Michigan graduate who won the fastest skater competition last month during the N.H.L.’s All-Star weekend.
“There’s a lot of weight room stuff, dry-land training, working on your form and flexibility,” Kreider said. “You can be the strongest guy in the world, but if you don’t have a good stride it doesn’t mean much. I’ve gotten more efficient as a skater over the last couple of years.”
General managers are reluctant to sign college players late in the N.H.L. season because if a player makes the lineup for even one game, a year is counted on his three-year entry-level contract, moving him closer to free agency.
But Rangers General Manager Glen Sather may not think twice about signing Kreider this spring when the Eagles’ season ends, especially if the Rangers lose a top forward to injury after the Feb. 27 trade deadline.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/sports/hockey/rangers-top-pick-makes-strides-at-boston-college.html?_r=1