NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Rangers — and their fans — got a good look at the future Monday night.
Former first-round pick Chris Kreider finally had his first taste of NHL hockey in Game 3 of the Rangers’ opening-round series against the Ottawa Senators. Coach John Tortorella was pleased with Kreider’s effort in the 1-0 win, a tough spot for a rookie in the playoff pressure-cooker.
“That’s a (heck) of a spot we’re putting the kid in,” Tortorella said. “He certainly shows he can skate in the league, we know that. … There are some things he needs to work on, but he’s in a (heck) of a spot, so I’m really happy with the way he played.”
Kreider won his second NCAA championship with Boston College earlier this month before signing with New York. The 20-year-old registered one shot on goal and one hit in 11:11 on the ice.
“I don’t think I thought coming into this that I would’ve been in the situation I was in tonight,” Kreider said. “But it was a great opportunity and I’m really thankful for it.”
Kreider was told he’d get to skate after forward Carl Hagelin was dealt a controversial three-game suspension by the league. The rookie admitted it was a challenge, and that he may have worn himself out a bit amid the excitement.
“I think I’ve got to pick my spots a little bit better than I did,” he said.
New York leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.
Your thoughts on Kreider’s debut? Sound off below!