Filip Chytil resumes skating, will Rangers create Kid Line 2.0 when he returns?

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Apr 29, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, New York Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette announced that Filip Chytil has resumed skating on his own. This is great news for the Rangers and Chytil after he suffered yet another concussion in his young career. There was legitimate concern for the 24-year-old center, who took an extended amount of time away from the ice following the injury.

Chytil has been sidelined since November 2nd when he was injured against the Carolina Hurricanes. After being placed on the injured reserve list, many thought he would only miss a week or two. The prolonged absence was very concerning. Even Adam Fox, who landed on LTIR, has been skating with the team while Chytil remains out. The update is a sigh of relief for the Rangers, who are itching to get back some depth at the center ice position.

“He’s skated a couple times,” Laviolette explained. “So we’ll see when we get home. Hopefully that continues to ramp up when we get back. We’ll get back home and get a chance to see him and catch up with him, but he has been on the ice.”

Related: Is it time to reset expectations for Kaapo Kakko

Filip Chytil resumes skating

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
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With his return to the ice, questions are now turning towards what the lineup will look like when he is ready to play. It was a slow start to the season for Chytil prior to his injury. Through ten games, he had no goals and registered six assists. At the time, he was centering the second line alongside Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere, both of whom have been on fire so far this season.

While it would be nice to see Chytil slot back in to his original spot in the lineup, that may not be the case. In his absence, Vincent Trocheck has filled the 2nd line center position and has been playing at an incredible level. Since moving up in the lineup, Trocheck has had four goals and seven assists for 11 points in just seven games. In the entire month of October, he had just four points in nine games.

This should be enough to keep Trocheck on the second line with Panarin and Lafreniere. This has been one of the best lines in the league offensively. It would be one thing if Chytil was off to a prolific start as well, but even before his injury he was struggling to produce.

It would make more sense to start Chytil on the 3rd line once he is ready to play, centering Will Cuylle and Kaapo Kakko. This line is already intriguing based on names alone. Chytil and Kakko have a history of playing together, and Will Cuylle has been a dynamic player for the Rangers. He would be a great checking forward to help get the puck to Chytil and Kakko in what could be a “Kid Line 2.0” for the Rangers.

Of course, it is hard to see Chytil being demoted because of injury. Laviolette is committed to playing young players in a top six role to start the season. Since then though, Kakko has moved down to the third line, and Chytil may end up there as well. Partially due to his injury and slow start, but more so because Trocheck has stepped up in a large way.

Having Chytil and Kakko on the third line may seem counterproductive for their development. However, this line, along with Cuylle, has the potential to be a very dangerous 3rd line for the Rangers. Should Laviolette go with this lineup, it could give the Rangers some of the most impressive depth rosters in the league. This is something every team needs if they want to contend for a Stanley Cup.

More important than all of the lineup decisions that are coming is the fact that Filip Chytil is still able to play. Head injuries are no joke and Chytil has seen his fair deal of them in his short career. It’s a great sign to see him skating again and his return to the Blueshirts lineup is highly anticipated.

Editor’s Note: Forever Blueshirts’ writer Deborah Seymour noted Kid Line 2.0 in our staff chat.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh