Chris Kreider solidifying great New York Rangers legacy
In Saturday night’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild, Chris Kreider scored in the third period off yet another deflection goal, securing him lone possession of 4th all time in goals scored for the New York Rangers. The milestone has further solidified Kreider’s legacy as a Blueshirt as he passed the Rangers’ legend Andy Bathgate.
“It’s really impressive,” coach Peter Laviolette said of the feat. “The Rangers have been around for a long time, and to climb that ladder shows what kind of a player he is.”
Kreider, 32, has registered 9 goals and 3 assists for 12 points in 12 games to date this season. Of those goals, 6 of them are on the power play, where his net-front presence is considered the best in the NHL.
Chris Kreider cementing great Rangers legacy
Kreider finds himself among the best to ever wear Broadway blue. Looking at the top 10 in goals scored, he is certainly among the greatest Rangers of all time.
Top 10 all time in goals – New York Rangers
1 – Rod Gilbert: 406 G in 1,065 Games
2 – Jean Ratelle: 336 G in 861 Games
3 – Adam Graves: 280 G in 772 Games
4 – Chris Kreider: 274 G in 745 Games
5 – Andy Bathgate: 272 G in 719 Games
6 – Vic Hadfield: 262 G in 841 Games
7 – Camille Henry: 256 G in 637 Games
8 – Mark Messier: 250 G in 698 Games
9 – Steve Vickers: 246 G in 698 Games
10 – Brian Leetch: 240 G in 1,129 Games
Kreider has made the top 10 in numerous all-time rankings for the Rangers.
Plus/minus – 6th
Even strength goals – 7th
Power play goals – 5th
Shorthanded goals – Tied 10th
Game-winning goals – 6th
Shots – 9th
It is only a matter of time until Kreider moves up even further on the goals scored list. At his current pace, he will pass Adam Graves for 3rd all-time, possibly before the end of 2023. He needs six more goals in order to tie the Rangers legend. Looking beyond that, he still has three more years of his 7-year deal following the end of this season. Passing Jean Ratelle for 2nd all-time is more than possible as he is only 63 goals away.
After that, 70 more goals separate him from Rod Gilbert and Rangers’ immortality. Whether he has enough in the tank or not is the question. Right now, the longest tenured Ranger is showing no signs of slowing down and his blazing start has him on pace to notch the second 50-goal season of his career.
It is no doubt that the lone Ranger left from the 2013-2014 team who lost in the Stanley Cup Final will end his career as one of the best to ever wear a Rangers sweater.
A look back on the career of Chris Kreider
After being drafted 19th overall in 2009, it took some time for Kreider to crack the Rangers’ lineup. Several years later, he made his debut in the 2012 playoff run. It was a memorable one for Kreider, as he scored five goals and finished with seven points in 18 postseason games. He was only 20 years old.
Although it was a few years before Kreider developed into the player we’ve become accustomed to, it was well worth the wait. After hovering around the 20-goal mark for several seasons, he reached a career high of 28 in 2016-2017. This would remain his career high for the next four seasons.
On February 8th of 2018, a letter was released by Rangers’ management to the Blueshirt faithful announcing a rebuild and with that, the loss of some mainstay players. Despite the shipping out of many fan-favorites, Kreider was able to stick around.
In the 2021-2022 season, Kreider was finally able to explode. He set a career high in goals (52), tied his career high in assists (25), and set a new career high in points (77) by a landslide. It was a long time coming, but the potential for Kreider to produce at this rate was always there. Another friendly reminder to be patient with players like Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere.
Kreider has been consistent throughout his entire career. More specifically, he has never shied away from big-time games. In the playoffs, he has 40 goals and 24 assists in 107 games. He was an integral piece in the 2021-2022 run that ended in a loss to Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals. In that run, he had 16 points in 20 games.
After a drop to 36 goals last season, many thought Kreider’s 52 goals was a one-and-done situation. However, he is proving that notion wrong through 11 games this season. If he were to stop playing right now, Kreider would go down as one of the greatest Rangers of all time. With several years of his current contract left, and maybe even some time after that, it is no doubt that number 20 is headed for the rafters of Madison Square Garden.