Moving top prospect Filip Chytil to wing over Lias Andersson makes the most sense for the New York Rangers so both to crack the roster.
It’s funny how plans can change over the course of time.
Coming into the preseason, New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton made it clear that the only way both Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil could make the roster was at center.
Not so fast.
Prior to the Blueshirts’ 4-3 overtime win against the Devils, head coach David Quinn told the media that he can see one of Chytil, Andersson, or Brett Howden moving to the wing to start the season at the NHL level.
Before tonight's #NYR game Coach Quinn talks about the centers, Shattenkrik, Kreider and more. pic.twitter.com/t4fyk0cHSz
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 24, 2018
This absolutely changes the way the Rangers can go about constructing their opening night roster. It creates an avenue where both Chytil and Andersson can be apart of this team, where a week ago that was up for debate. The question now becomes who should get moved?
That answer might simpler than you think. It should be Chytil making the transition to the wing for the time being.
Yes, the excitement from what we’ve seen from Chytil in the middle cannot go unnoticed. But, moving him to the wing at this stage in his career is an absolute no-brainer. To start, his size will not be an issue for a move like this. At six feet two inches tall, the 19-year-old can handle other wingers successfully.
The difference in height between Chytil and Andersson is not a large gap. As a matter of fact, Andersson is just two inches shorter than Chytil. But, on the ice, Chytil’s height gives him more of an edge than it would for Andersson.
From a pure skill point, Chytil also suits better on the wing. He can create for himself and put himself into to high quality scoring chances all throughout the ice. Whereas Andersson, for instance, does not have the skill Chytil does to make that adjustment this early in his career.
Moving Chytil over should not take away any important aspects of his game. His speed will still be there, and so will his ability to make plays with the puck. Andersson seems like one of those players that just seems to work while at the center ice position. Moving Andersson would actually be like moving Derek Stepan over to the wing, it just does not add up.
If you are still wrestling with the decision over which player should move to the wing, look no further to both players faceoff percentage. Andersson won 40 percent of the draws he took in the NHL a year ago, compared to the 36 percent that Chytil won. Perhaps this has to do with Andersson’s pesky type of game, compared to Chytil’s finesse. Yet, another reason why Chytil should be the one moved to the wing.
Andersson’s game resembles that of Jesper Fasts at times. It would not make sense to have two similar types of players on the wing. Moving Chytil gives the Rangers another threat on the wing and allows for both he and Andersson to make the team.
The move is obvious, now it’s time for Quinn to just make it.