New York Rangers: This Forward Is Already Proving His Worth
Adam Hunger, USATSI

The New York Rangers are off to a fiery start for this NHL season. The whole team is looking good, but there is one who leads the pack.

With every NHL season, the beginning of the year does not normally tell much about a team. But for the New York Rangers, this seems to be quite the opposite.

The team as a whole got faster during the offseason and revamped parts of the team that struggled last year. For example, offensive production was at the forefront of the Rangers offseason shopping list.

And boy, they did not disappoint.

The likes of Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey add so much punch that the entire offense looks better as a group.They seem to feed off of each other very well.

However, while the newest players are working hard, there is one who was the poster child for the “next level” jump in play that management wanted.

That person is none other than Chris Kreider.

While he has been on the Blueshirts’ roster for a few years now, the kiddie games are over with. The Rangers need him to take the next step as a player. Only three games into the season, and it already seems like No. 20 is there. It appears to be a totally different player than in the past.

Last year was not a down season for Kreider by any means, but it was not the year he was on pace for and not the one he hoped for.

He finished with 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points. He added two goals in the playoffs.

The Rangers are going to play in their fourth game of the season on Wednesday night against Detroit, and Kreider already has three goals and three assists.

Yes, that’s right. He has scored a goal in every game so far this season.

Granted it is not much to brag about, but this does seem to be the Kreider that fans know is capable but have not seen it yet. He just looks like such a good player on the ice this year.

He finally uses his speed and body for the right reasons and gets to the gritty areas consistently.

There was not enough of that last year. The goal against St. Louis the other night is a perfect example of how he is using it early on in the year. He stormed the front of the net and bounced on the puck lightning quick.

It seems like a safe bet to say that Kreider has taken the next step, at least for the first few games so far. If he can keep it up, just imagine the potential the team could have.

Also, what if Kreider and the rest of the younger players all have career years? Talking about a massive amount of scoring.

As John Davidson would say, “Ohhhh Baby!”

It’s great that hockey is back, isn’t it?

I love watching sports, specifically teams in New York. I'll root for all New York teams, but the New York Rangers and hockey are my number one. I am an avid hockey fan and enjoy expressing my opinion on the Blueshirts, when they are playing good and bad.