New York Rangers need another big season from Chris Kreider in 2022-23

chris kreider
Jun 9, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) shoots the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning center Riley Nash (16) and defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period of game five of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kreider had a career year in 2021-2022 for the New York Rangers. He finally reached the goal-scoring potential so many believed he had after storming on to the scene as a 20 year-old in the 2011-12 playoffs.

The 10-year Rangers veteran recorded 52 goals (tied with Adam Graves second all-time) and 25 assists for 77 points in 81 games. Kreider also broke the team’s single-season record for most power play goals (26) and game-winning goals (11).

His play on the ice and his role off of it earned him even more accolades.

Krieder became the first ever recipient of The Rod Gilbert “Mr. Ranger” Award, which recognizes the Rangers player “who best honors Rod’s legacy by exemplifying leadership qualities both on and off the ice, and making a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”

He was also named the winner of the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, which is presented to the Rangers player as selected by the fans that “goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

You can also add being nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy and King Clancy Award as the icing on the cake.

However, that’s officially the past and the Blueshirts will need a repeat performance from CK20 to take the next step.

Chris Kreider needs another big season

new york rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Kreider, 31, will be counted upon even more this year to deliver big goals with young players assuming more responsibility in the top six. The good news is that there’s plenty of optimistic signs that says he can.

The Rangers were forced to part ways with all their trade deadline acquisitions due to cap concerns. Regarding the first line, Frank Vatrano is now with the Anaheim Ducks along with Ryan Strome. While the latter may have more of an impact concerning the power play, the loss of Vatrano may not be that bad.

Last season, Kreider played with a host of other wingers before Vatrano cemented a spot on the first line in late March. They played 200 minutes together and had a GoalsFor of 61%, the highest of any of the wingers Kreider played with.

However, there’s a lot of offseason talk that Alexis Lafrenière will be making the switch to right wing to play on that line. If that’s the case, based on last year’s numbers it looks like it will work. Playing the second most minutes among forwards with Lafrenière (274), their GoalsFor was 53.8%. Kreider also posted his second highest ExpectedGoals totals with the 2020 first-overall pick at 12.28.

In the end, the main reason that Kreider should be able to have another strong offensive season is his center. Mika Zibanejad‘s great chemistry with Kreider off the ice has translated just as beautifully on it.

The duo played 968 minutes at even strength and posted great numbers together. Usually facing other teams’ top lines, they hold their own with a CorsiFor of 50.15% and an excellent GoalsFor% of 57.14. Kreider with Zibanejad also posted a 40.83 ExpectedGoals.

Kreider scoring 50 goals again may be too much to ask this upcoming season. It’s certainly possible if Lafrenière comes into his own. Still, a 40 goal season from the big winger should be doable with Zibanejad as his main set up man.

Chris Kreider WithTOI WithCF% WithGF% WithxGF
Mika Zibanejad968.8550.1557.1440.83
Alexis Lafrenière274.4849.953.8512.28
Kaapo Kakko266.1751.776011.55
Frank Vatrano200.8756.2761.118.97
Barclay Goodrow123.7544.0557.145.48
Artemi Panarin63.0752.9433.333.06
Ryan Strome38.3253.85501.7
Sammy Blais36.1543.86501.02
Dryden Hunt36.1052.3833.330.92
Julien Gauthier31.5552.8301.02
Ryan Reaves28.4526.67500.51
Filip Chytil24.5370.4501.53
Kevin Rooney17.4030.5600.16
Andrew Copp16.4750500.76
Greg McKegg11.12200.07
Jonny Brodzinski8.4835.290.22
Tyler Motte3.0860500.3
Chris Kreider 5v5 – Data via Natural Stat Trick

Note: All advanced stats via Natural Stat Trick

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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