Filip Chytil is set to breakout for Rangers in 2023-24

new york rangers filip chytil
Dec 7, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates with New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) after scoring a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Season after season, New York Rangers‘ fans clamor for players to shoot the puck more. In recent years, the team’s pass first mentality has created some beautiful goals, but has also caused some incredible frustration when pucks don’t get on net. However, Filip Chytil has been one player over the past 15 months that has adopted a shoot-first mentality, and it caused him to have a career year at the age of 23.

Chytil has the chance to become a breakout star in the NHL in the upcoming season, and if he is able to do so, the Rangers become a much more dangerous team. Chytil is coming off a career season in which he put up highs in goals, points, shots, and shooting percentage. 

New York Rangers

  • Projected Cap Hit: $84,680,764
  • Projected Cap Space: $-1,180,764
  • Current Cap Space: $955,000
  • Roster: 23/23

Filip Chytil on the rise

new yok rangers filip chytil
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

It culminated with a stint in late January into early February where Chyil found himself on a five-game goal-scoring streak, that saw the young Czech pot seven goals during that time. This created validation for what Chytil was able to produce during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, his prelude to taking the next big step.

Chytil’s numbers from a season ago become even more impressive when you take into account that he was 16th on the team in average time on ice per game and dead last among the Rangers top-9 forwards from 2023.

As we look ahead to this upcoming season, Chytil’s power play minutes are sure to increase with the departures Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane.

Chytil will be 24 when the season begins in October and getting him consistent top-6 minutes could spell danger for Rangers’ opponents. If it means bumping Vincent Trocheck, who spent most, if not all of the ‘22-’23 season on the second line, down then so be it.

I’m going to reference a couple of Chytil’s goals from a season ago as to why, with more minutes this season, his is imminent to breakout.

Starting with this goal against Montreal. Chytil is able to win a puck and throw it on goal to try and create some sort of chance. When that puck goes wide, you can see Chytil take a look over his left shoulder to see exactly where the Montreal defender is. Chytil then simply drifts into open space in the Bermuda Triangle of Canadiens defenders and absolutely wires home a shot from the top of the circle off his back foot.

This type of shot is something that was very prevalent in Chytil’s game last season. He is able to beat NHL goalies from virtually anywhere on the ice, and for young goal scorers like Chytil, having developed a lethal shot makes him a great use on the powerplay as well.

Powerplay time or not, Chytil made his money at 5-on-5 a season ago. 19 of his 22 goals came at even strength and there was no better example of his style of play than his first of two goals against the Calgary Flames right after the All-Star break.

Chytil builds up speed in his own zone as the Rangers start to exit out of the zone. He takes a near-perfect indirect pass from Kappo Kakko and is able to break in on a pseudo-two-on-one with Alexis Lafreniere. What has set Chytil apart from the other two on the “Kid Line” is his ability and willingness to shoot the puck. During that rush, he did not have a single thought about passing the puck, instead unleashing a wicked snap shot over the blocker of Jacob Markstrom.

This is where Chytil becomes his best. The transition game best suits his style of play and it has been evident through his career to this point. According to AllThreeZones, an online hockey newsletter, around 50% of goals are scored off the rush whether it’s by transition or off counter-attacks. Chytil is categorized as an “Entry/Exit Specialist” in a recent project they’ve done, calling Chytil an entry stud for years who has slowly started to produce more offense.

The last goal I want to mention is the insane face-off goal against Toronto.

To be able to have the wherewithal to create a shot right at the drop of the puck makes that one of the more creative goals in the league from a season ago. Chytil’s ability to create shots at even strength last season was one of pure excellence. His ability to simply get shots off with his quick hands and heavy shot can allow him to break the 30-goal plateau this season.

There’s a lot of new around the New York Rangers upcoming season. How will the team gel under new head coach Peter Laviolette? If the Rangers are looking for a fast start to a “prove-it” year, giving Filip Chytil top-6 minutes will go a long way to doing just that.

Steven Pappas is a North Jersey native who works as a news anchor and reporter at WHAM-13 in Rochester,... More about Steven Pappas

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