At Hockey Buzz, Julie Robenhymer writes about newly signed Ranger Chris Kreider and how he was determined to stay in college so that when he turned pro he would be prepared and the gap between the NCAA and NHL wouldn’t be that large.
Robenhymer cites talks that Kreider had with Jack Johnson at the 2010 World Championships about staying in school and writes, “So when he got back from Germany, he hit the weights and the books hard and set off on the mission to make himself as physically, emotionally and mentally ready to go pro as possible and decided that when the time was right, he – and only he – would make that decision. He wasn’t going to back down or be persuaded into doing something that he knew in his heart wasn’t the right move for him. “
On Kreider as a player, Robenhymer writes,
“He’s not your average college player. He’s 6’3 and 225 pounds with tree trunks for legs who is fast, agile, skilled, has great vision, knows how to use the body and, perhaps most importantly, wants to get better. He’s very coachable and wants to contribute to whatever team he’s on in whatever way the coach wants.”
She adds that just being around the team, even as a healthy scratch, will be beneficial to Kreider and that the Rangers could still send him to play for Team USA at the World Championships.
Derek Stepan, who played with Kreider on the Gold Medal winning USA World Junior Team in 2010, told the NY Post, “In addition to playing with him, I played against him twice in two years at school and watched him pretty closely because I knew he was a Rangers’ guy. He is a great skater and his speed is incredible. That’s obviously the first thing you notice about him, but he’s also extremely smart. He’s strong on the puck, he sees the game really well, and combining his sense of anticipation with his speed and quickness, that makes him so dangerous.”