Interesting to read that Dean Boylan was Kreider's coach at Andover. Older fans on the board will remember Dean as a player for the WHA New York Raiders. I had the pleasure of getting to know him when he played for the Syracuse Blazers in the North American Hockey League. He was a first class guy and very intelligent -- a graduate of Yale University. He knows what it takes to suceed in the pros.
I think the Rangers did a good job with the picks they had. I really like all of them. Even the Bourque pick. The kids got the pedigree and well worth spending a 3rd rounder on, despite his size. If we're lucky, he'll grow a couple of inches.
Still, I can't help but think that I'd rather have Samuelsson, Orlov, or even had taken a chance on Tatar with the #50 pick rather than have wasted it on Antropov to gain a loss in the first round.
Kreider is a safe pick who could turn out huge. The reason he's safe is even if he doesn't pan out the way we hope he has the size and skating (which is phenomenal) to be an NHL'er at least on a 3rd line level. He is as much a kid at this point though as it's possible to be. The Rangers idea of him needing two years may be a bit optimistic--though if he went to St. John it might be more realistic. 3 years at BC anyway otherwise would be my opinion. The funny thing is one could have said almost the same things about Leetch when he was drafted out of Avon Old Farms--he was a 5'10" 170 lb. defensemen who some thought would only make it if he converted to center. That was a pick that a lot of people at that time didn't like.
Of the whole group Werek is probably closest now.
Anyway interesting that the Rangers were interested in Kassian as well who was definitely someone I liked. I know some hated him but that guy has an unique package. Would have loved if he dropped into our hands but that was never very likely.
Thanks as always, Leslie. Disappointed to hear that Kreider didn't stand out at prospect camp, but I'm willing to write that off as due to the shock of playing at this level for the first time. Grachev didn't look very good during his first exposure last year. Looking forward to the reports on Chris out of Travers City (if he goes) and then, more importantly, at BC/the QMJHL after he gets more acclimated.
Not to mention his season ended a long time ago and he only played what, like 30 games during his HS season? That combined its the first time he's playing with more mature players (MDZ / Gilroy / Grachev, etc). It's nothing to be worried about at all. I still think he was the best pick at that time.
It's going to take 3 or 4 years for his to develop fully, but when he does, its going to be worth it.
Guys, as pointed out above, there are many high school players that have done well in the NHL, so just the fact that Kreider was drafted out of USHS is not a problem. What I was trying to say with my comment that he is a high risk/high reward pick is that there were other players who were more of a sure thing to make the NHL that were available, just they would almost certainly not have the upside of Kreider.
As far as I know, Kreider will not be in Traverse City. BC will start classes during the tournament. Under NCAA rules, Kreider cannot be in an NHL camp, miss classes and still maintain his NCAA eligibility.