Filip Chytil may be New York Rangers answer on the wing
Filip Chytil has a modest four game point streak (1G – 3A) and starting to gel on the second line as a right wing.
All season, we’ve heard that Chytil wants to be a center and that the Rangers organization wants him there too. Last night, after a gut-check 3-2 win over the Flyers, Gerard Gallant was singing a different tune.
“He’s played well,” Gallant said of Chytil. “It doesn’t matter for me if he’s on the wing or at center. He’s played well on the wing with (Strome and Panarin)… I’m sure if you ask him tonight he’s happy to be where he’s at.”
Filip Chytil getting comfortable on the wing
Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Filip Chytil each scored one goal to lift the New York Rangers past the host Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Saturday. Those tallies were helped by Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox contributing two assists each. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves to continue his Vezina worthy season.
The Rangers went ahead 1-0 when Zibanejad connected on the power play at 5:54 of the first period. It was Zibanejad’s 14th goal of the season.
The Flyers equalized at 11:45 when Lindblom took advantage of a bouncing puck and sent a backhand past Shesterkin.
The Flyers took a 2-1 lead at 10:11 when York recorded his first career goal. York’s slap shot went through K’Andre Miller and then Shesterkin.
New York didn’t take long to tie the game at 2 just 37 seconds later when Chytil scored. That was followed by a Kreider redirected shot from Fox at 13:30 for a 3-2 Rangers advantage just 2:42 later.
“Great feeling for me personally,” Chytil said.”It’s great after a lot of games (for me) and also for the team that we tied the game and then we won.”
I have to adjust to the wing but I like it,” Chytil admitted. “I have to work in practice on some details but I feel good there.”
Chytil’s Rangers’ future likely as a winger
Chytil, 22, was selected by the Rangers in the 2017 NHL Draft in the first round (21st overall). He was a gamble as most rankings had him as a second round pick. Since debuting later that season, he’s bounced between center and wing finding difficulty getting comfortable.
However, he’s had some of his best stretches on the flanks using his size and speed to control the boards and getting in front. It looks like the organization and even Chytil recognize that now.
Of course, making the adjustment is a whole lot easier when you’re playing with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.
“Those two guys are unbelievable on the puck,” Chytil said in admiration. “On the third line, I was carrying the puck a little more. Now, these two guys are unbelievable with the puck… They have great chemistry. When I get the puck, of course, I’m trying to do what I can do. Trying to find them, try to shoot, but when they have the puck, I just try to find a space to open in the slot, go to the net and score goals.”
If the Rangers are seriously thinking about re-signing Ryan Strome, then Chytil’s potential will never be unlocked as a third line center. His future with the team seems best suited as a winger.
“Coach put me on the wing in Vegas and I feel good getting more ice time,” Chytil explained. “If I stay at wing I have to work on the details and just get better.”
Chytil has 11 points in 35 games this season and 82 in 221 career contests.
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–Field Level Media contributed to this article