There aren’t many positive things to say about the Rangers offense this year, but one pleasant surprise at the halfway point of this season is rookie, Chris Kreider. For Kreider, his début in blue came during in the 2011-2012 playoffs. He sparked the team with 5 goals and 2 assists in a deep playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. After his playoff success, Kreider, was disappointing during last season (his first regular season) when he only put up two goals and one assist in 23 games. Due to the lack of games he has played over the past few years, he is still considered an NHL rookie. With all the success Kreider has found this season, there is no doubt he is right in the middle of the Calder Trophy race.
For those of you who don’t know, the Calder Trophy is awarded at the end of each year to the NHL’s top rookie. As of now, San Jose’s forward Tomas Hertl leads all rookies with 15 goals and 10 assists, but after undergoing a recent (successful) knee surgery, he is expected to miss at least 3 months. With Hertl most likely out of the discussion, I believe if Kreider can have a strong 2nd half to this season, he can put himself into a top candidate spot for the Calder Trophy. That being said, he will need some help on offense from his teammates (as the Rangers are ranked 27th on offense) to put up the offensive numbers needed to stay in the Calder talks. Calder Trophy or not, there is plenty to be excited about with Kreider and his future on the team. With the right players around him, there is no doubt Chris Kreider has the potential to reach superstar status in the NHL.