Filip Chytil’s future with the New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22: Filip Chytil #72 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal at 7:14 of the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22: Filip Chytil #72 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal at 7:14 of the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Ever since being drafted 21st overall by the New York Rangers in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Filip Chytil has been a very interesting player. He entered the league at a very young age and showed flashes of why he was selected as a first round talent.

However, this season the native of the Czech Republic has been under scrutiny due to his lackluster play. During last year’s COVID shortened season he started off with a bang and was appearing as the second line center fans were hoping for. Unfortunately, he broke his wrist in a collision with Evan Rodrigues just a few games in.

While this slowed him down, he still put together 22 points in 42 games; a 42 point pace. That is an impressive output for a 21 year old.

Coming into this season expectations were high for Chytil. Ryan Strome is in the last year of his current deal, and a breakout year from Chytil would have made the Rangers’ Ryan Strome decision this offseason much easier to make. But he has only posted 12 points in 41 games.

When evaluating his play at this stage of the season it could be argued that he’s been the most disappointing Ranger. He has had an injury riddled season, and has bounced around the lineup quite a bit. With the team being in a position to buy at the upcoming trade deadline, Chytil could potentially find himself elsewhere. The team will also be handicapped when it comes to cap space, and he has a moveable contract, signed through next season with a cap hit of $2.3 million.


The injuries that Chytil has dealt with throughout the past few seasons should not be disregarded. He has missed 20% of the games the last two seasons, a total of 22 games due to injury.  He has struggled with a handful of nagging injuries and hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup consistently. This could be a major factor as to why the 22-year-old has struggled to find his footing and perform consistently.

Is he a center?

A huge question mark regarding Chytil is what his position is for the Rangers in the future. He has undoubtedly struggled at center, and some of his best point production this season has come on the wing. Specifically, he struggles in the faceoff circle.

Although his face-off percentages have progressed throughout his career, they are still low. This year he has won just 42.9 percent of faceoffs and only has a 40.2 faceoff winning percentage in his career.

Since being brought up for the 2018 season, the Rangers have toyed with him on the wing, but haven’t deployed him there consistently.

Top 6 or bust?

Realistically, it seems that the only way Chytil fits on this team is if he plays up to his top six potential. When examining past Cup teams, or teams on deep playoff runs, their third line is typically a “checking line.” While Chytil has worked to improve his defensive game/forecheck to a respectable level, he still doesn’t fit the mold for a competing team’s third line.

When the Rangers had several players out of the lineup with COVID-19 in January, he was placed on the Panarin-Strome line for a few games. While his point production rose, he didn’t appear as a force with them. Many would like to see him get more ice time with them rather than Barclay Goodrow or Dryden Hunt, but it seems like Gerard Gallant gave him that brief chance and that was it.


One thing that is important to note: Chytil is only 22 years old. Many forget that because of how long he has been around. He is one year younger than Morgan Barron and is just a year older than Kaapo Kakko. Having 227 NHL games played by the age of 22 is an accomplishment that not many others can flaunt.  In fact, only two players drafted in 2017 have played more NHL games.  Also, Chytil has a shooting percentage this year of just six percent; remarkably low. He has definitely been unlucky.

He has had a fairly long leash during his time with the Rangers, rightfully so. Everyone would love to see him have a consistent position, less injuries, and find his stride. That can definitely still happen, but do the Rangers have the time to wait?

There’s no doubt that Chytil is highly talented and when he shows it, it seems likely that he will become an impact player in this league.  However, on a Rangers team that is positioned to win now, his full potential may have to be reached elsewhere, which is a shame.

Related Story. What to do with Strome?. light