According to Jeff Botta at the New York Times, the Rangers could sign top prospect Chris Kreider to a professional contract as early as April when his season at Boston College finishes up.
The Rangers’ 2009 first-round pick has 18 goals and 33 points in 26 games this season, and has grown from a 6-foot 1 inch, 205-pound freshman to a 6-3 225-pound junior.
“I’ve made some pretty big strides,” Kreider said to the Times. “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.”
Botta said NHL scouts predict Kreider to be a 30-goal scorer in the League, with results coming right away. He added Kreider has similar speed to that of Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, who won the fastest skater competition at last month’s All Star game.
The lone setback to signing Kreider and inserting him into the big club’s lineup for the end of the season and playoffs is that even if he plays just one game, it counts as a year off his entry-level contract.
Reading Botta’s piece put a smile on my face, one that is hard to take off. This kid seems like he’s going to be the real deal in the NHL. The Rangers are in a position right now they haven’t been in for years; not only is the team a legitimate championship contender, the future is as bright as its ever been. Someone pinch me.
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