A look at Rangers rookie, Filip Chytil at the break

Chytil (Getty Images)

With the 21st pick of the 2018 NHL draft, the New York Rangers drafted 17-year-old Czech center, Filip Chytil. Chytil was the youngest player drafted in the first round. He barely made the cut off date to be eligible for the 2018 draft.

When the Rangers took him at 21, the consensus was that he was extremely raw, but had very high upside. His speed and skill was put on display and his ability to compile points was there. This pick was the first of the “high-risk, high-reward” players that Gorton and co. started drafting. After being drafted, Chytil signed his ELC at 17, and headed to camp. His 18th birthday was September 5th of 2018; about a month before the start of the season. Chytil played so well during camp, and the pre-season that he made the opening night roster.

He played only two games for “He Who Must Not Be Named” and playing what felt like two minutes a night. Chytil was sent down to play in Hartford for the rest of the year where he lit it up. It was not until the end of the season where Chytil was brought up (nice part being the Rangers didn’t burn a year of his ELC).

When the Rangers headed back to camp for the 2018-2019 season, most were confident that Chytil would make the team, which, as we all know he did. From the start I felt that Chytil should be playing top-6 minutes on a nightly basis for the rebuilding Rangers and develop in that way.

Chytil started the season centering the 3rd line where he played a number of games. He was not playing with the highest of skilled players and was not producing. After a handful of games, Coach Quinn put Chytil on the 2nd line wing next to Kevin Hayes. Chytil, now playing with a skilled playmaker in Hayes, started to find his game. He went on a 5 game goal scoring streak; an extremely impressive feat for a 19 year old.

After the goal-scoring streak, Chytil went a bit cold. He was demoted back down to the bottom-6 playing with the likes of the dreaded Cody McLeod, and even found himself in street clothes one night. Due to an injury to Kevin Hayes, Chytil got a promotion. He has been playing in the top-6 ever since. The young Czech is started finding a groove heading into the bye week/all-star break. He left off with five points in the final six games heading into the break, including near identical goals in back-to-back games against the Blackhawks and Bruins.

Chytil is only 19 years old, but has a plethora of talent. At his young age, he needs to be playing in the top-6, not only because he can, but also because it is beneficial to his development. I am extremely excited about the 19-year-old from the Czech Republic and feel like he will be a consistent 50-60 points scorer in the coming years when he finally gets some consistent line mates.

Chytil has 18 points in 47 games and is on pace for 30 for the season. No, they are not Elias Pettersson numbers, but for a 19-year-old playing on a rebuilding team, with a plethora of line mates, playing on every line from the 1st to the 4th, and even being in the press box for a game……that is very impressive in my opinion. Something I would like to see is if the Rangers do land Panarin, a line of Zibanejad, Panarin, and Chytil.

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