The Rangers were desperate to sign Chris Kreider this past summer, but Kreider wasn't having it. He values his education dearly and getting his degree is very important to him and his family.
He decided to return to Boston College for his Junior year instead of cashing in with the Rangers. Many people were upset with his decision, including myself when I first heard about it, but slowly it has grown on me that Chris going back to College was the best thing for him and the Rangers.
As I stated in an earlier article, Kreider would be getting much more ice-time and have the opportunity to dominate the game. So far, so good. Boston College opened it's season on Friday night as they took on Michigan State in the Ice Breaker tournament Semi-final's. Boston College won 5-2 as Kreider had the game winning goal and an assist to kick start his Junior season. Kreider didn't stop there as he notched the game tying goal last night in the Finals against North Dakota and took home the MVP award as his team went on to win 6-2.
It is already apparent that his decision to go back to school will be beneficial to him and the Rangers. Dave Starman who covers College Hockey for CBS, tweeted this during BC's game against Michigan State. "Chris Kreider of BC is taking over this game. Kid is a pro in a college uniform. What a player!" The game last night was televised and I made it my job to watch it. Kreider was a physical force out on the ice. There were times when he forechecked two or three opposing players and came away with the puck. He is so big and strong, but his speed is out of this world.
Here's what BC Assistant Captain, Paul Carey had to say about Chris. "The goals are what you notice, but there are so many little things Chris does. Someone has to be in the corners winning the battles, someone has to be killing penalties and doing all the little things you need to win, and a lot of times that's Chris. You don't see that, but I think a lot of our goals and scoring opportunities come from Chris' work."
Chris also had the right mentality and is a team first player. When asked if he was disappointed in his point totals from last season, Kreider responded with, "Not really. We all appreciate a blocked shot as much as a goal. So for me, it's just doing whatever it takes to help our team win, to be an effective player night in, night out."
Kreider seems to be taking that next step and now has three points (2G, 1A) in two games played and looks to build off of that success and have his best season yet. Chris will not only get the degree he wants this year, but he will come to Rangers training camp with a lot of confidence, as a much more accomplished and developed player. So be patient Ranger fans, it will pay big dividends.