What is Chris Kreider’s value?
Chris Kreider is in for a nice pay day with his arbitration date drawing near.
After JT Miller signed a “now” friendly 2-year deal with an AAV of $2.75M, The Rangers are hovering just over the $8M mark in available cap space. The stars are aligned for Kreider to sign a long-term extension, instead of the short-sighted bridge contracts we’ve become so accustomed to seeing.
Expectations were high for Kreider in ’15-’16, which ended up being a tale of two seasons. Before the all-star break, Kreider only managed to pot nine goals in 40 games. In the 33 games following, he scored at a 30-goal scorers clip, banging 12 goals home.
The 24-year-old winger’s career is now four seasons old. He is likely to remain what he is at this point: a one dimensional, north/south scoring type, who plays with an edge. He figures to be a consistent 20-30 goal scorer, and will probably break the 30-goal mark more than once–if not a bunch– before his career is over.
Kreider can still improve
Kreider seems to lack the vision and imagination that would push him into the elite winger group. His assist numbers haven’t been staggering, nor will they ever be. As a result of this lack of imagination, he rarely finds himself in a position to take advantage of his physical tools– including his world class release and shot. His opportunities are rarely the result of his own creativity, he’s a finisher.
Where Kreider will make his money is around the net. The guy is an built like a brick house, and he knows it.
The big gripe most will have with CK20 is apparent lack of consistency. Those who watch will cite a gear change when the playoffs come around and wonder: why can’t Kreider play like this all year?
So what will the NYR opt to do? Will they go long-term and lock Kreider up long-term and have to pay for some of his UFA years? Or will they dig themselves into further trouble down the road with another bridge deal?
My hope is that they go long-term and give Kreider something in the neighborhood of 4-5 years, with a $4.5-$5M AAV. This would give the team enough money to come to terms with Kevin Hayes, whose arbitration hearing is coming later this month.