The New York Rangers are facing a dilemma when it comes to the contract status of Filip Chytil. Is it best he stays in the NHL?
In this day and age, it seems organizations tend to baby their draft picks with long starts in their minor league system and management expressing the need to have their youngsters develop. General managers will say how important it is for a young player to play a high amount of minutes, in all game situations down in the minors. Bottom line is that minutes with the pro club won’t be as beneficial.
This season Filip Chytil finds himself in a very unique situation. This is due to how he made the NHL club out of training camp. Additionally, keeping a young player like Chytil with the junior club allows some play with his Entry Level Contract, which seems to play a big role when a team is making a decision for their pro roster.
Filip Chytil has been an absolute treat to watch. All of the young Rangers have for that matter, and sending him down to the AHL really won’t help him the way playing against NHL teams will. Chytil put in 46 games with the Hartford Wolfpack last season, putting up 11 goals and 20 assists. For anyone who watched him, it is clear the kid can play. Gordon was right when he mentioned Chytil’s contract situation, saying Chytil is exactly where he needs to be.
Where a player would be better suited to grow their skills and fine-tune their game has always been the debate. The Rangers are rebuilding, which is the difference this year. The Blueshirts entered the season with very low expectations and are almost nonexistent in any talk about being a playoff contender. So, why not allow Chytil to continue to grow and mature at the highest level? He has already shown he can play down in the AHL. What good is being one of the best junior league players when the ultimate goal is playing in the NHL?
The often overlooked advantage this season is head coach David Quinn. He is a “players coach,” which means being as involved in a game as he is in practice. Always in a player’s ear with positive reinforcement or an explanation of what was expected after a shift. For a 19-year-old, what could be better than playing under a coach who is familiar with coaching kids around Chytil’s age?
Player development has always been a tough subject for the Rangers, especially due to past coaches that will remain nameless, and their style (or lack) of discipline. The Rangers find themselves in a very unique position. There is a new coach with college experience, young prospects who are around college player’s age, and a season already deemed a rebuilding year with lowered expectations. Filip Chytil should develop in the NHL, and the front office needs to take advantage of the situation, allowing not just Chytil, but the other highly scouted prospects as well.