The talk about Chris Kreider just never seems to end. The Boston College Eagles are one win away from their 31st Frozen Four appearance, a remarkable number. Kreider has had a big hand in that. As the Eagles leading scorer with 22 goals and 43 points, he must be a factor if the Eagles wish to win the the Championship.
Whenever Kreider's season ends, whether it be after the finals or tonight, Rangers General Manager, Glen Sather plans to sign the speedy power forward. While nothing is guaranteed, the question is not whether Chris will sign or not, but where he will play after signing.
With the Rangers lack of offensive output recently, Kreider could be looked upon to join the Ranger line-up for the playoffs. Kreider has game changing speed and a large build to go along with his NHL-ready shot. The two issues that arise if he joins the Rangers are stunting his development and burning a year off of his contract.
The Rangers have become very good at developing prospects into fine NHL players. Players such as Ryan McDonagh and Carl Hagelin, who started their professional careers in Connecticut, have now found their permanent spot on the Rangers roster. Kreider could follow in their footsteps and join the Rangers next season, or he can join the Rangers now for what could be a shot at the Stanley Cup. If he does join the Rangers this season, the Rangers risk stunting his development by rushing him into the NHL. There is always the chance though that it will be a success and that Kreider will thrive, although the Rangers still need to be careful.
The other issue is a contractual one. If Kreider plays just one game in a Ranger uniform, a year will be burnt off of his three year Entry Level Contract, thus putting him one year closer towards unrestricted free agency. The Rangers may be willing to take that gamble, hoping that Kreider can help them win the Cup this year, but if they're not they can sign him to an Amateur Try Out contract, allowing him to play with the Connecticut Whale for the rest of the season.
Whether Kreider joins the Rangers or the Whale, only time will tell if the decision that is made happens for the best.