Ask a Prospect -- Chris Kreider
Rangers' latest first-round draft pick answers questions from fans
We invited fans to submit questions for Kreider here on newyorkrangers.com, and he was gracious enough to respond to many of them. Here are the questions and his answers:
Bob Dunne from Smithtown, N.Y., asks:
Since you are going to be at Boston College next season, do you feel any pressure to win the Hobey Baker Award? More seriously, do you have a set time-table to reach the Rangers or will you be happy as long as you make it to the Rangers?
I want to go in (to Boston College) and make an impact right away as a freshman and earn my spot and hopefully do whatever I can to help the team win a national championship because that's ultimately the big goal. I have no set timetable for reaching New York, but I'll be very happy just making it. It really depends on how I play and how I develop. I'm just focusing on the here and the now and freshman fall.
Scott Van Bourgondien from Virginia Beach, Va., asks:
I was wondering how you would rate yourself as a goal-scorer on a scale of 1 to 10?
Probably a 6.5 or a 7. I think that I'm a goal-scorer, but I think that I need to finish my opportunities that much more.
Bernie Gartenlaub from Lido Beach, N.Y., asks:
How do you put your upcoming college education in perspective when by all indications in the press you will leave college after two years to play proffesional hockey?
I think that either way, even if I was to leave college early, I would go back and finish my education, because it's important. But at the same time, you know, playing hockey for the rest of my life is equally important to me. I guess in terms of my priorities, I want to be a professional hockey player, but I also want to have the opportunity to be educated. There is life after hockey.
John from New Jersey asks:
How did prep-school hockey help your game and what was the toughest team you played?
Prep school definitely helped my game. It was a step up from where I had come from, so everything really improved for me. I had to be more defensively aware, which is something I still need to improve on. I'm always able to work out some bad habits, and I still have a few. You always will, and you always have to work to get rid of those. I think one of the toughest teams we played against was probably Salisbury in the prep playoffs. They were a pretty well-rounded team.
Teresa from Brooklyn, N.Y., asks:
How much more do you feel that you can develop? Do you think you'll be ready if the Blueshirts need you sooner than you know?
I think one of my assets is that I have more potential. I just recently hit a growth spurt and I don't think I'm totally mature yet or fully developed. I think that I can get stronger and bigger, and I think I can continue to develop and mature. I think that if I was called upon earlier than expected, I'd be hopefully ready to go.
Jack from Boston, Mass., asks:
Do you feel extra pressure at development camp since you were a first round pick? Were you nervous going into camp knowing some of the people that you would be there with?
There's a little pressure, but a lot of what the draft is differs from some other professional sports leagues, where you are drafting fully matured men. The draft is based on potential and the concept of an 18-year-old developing into a better player, so I guess there wasn't a huge amount of pressure (coming here), but I certainly want to perform well either way.
Thomas Fleischman from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., asks:
What emotions where you feeling before and after the draft?
It's almost impossible to explain. It's just one of the greatest feelings in the world. Everything kind of coming to a pinnacle, but at the same time, everything is also just kind of starting. It's a great step and I was beyond thrilled and extremely surprised. I didn't think I was going to go that high just because there were some names still on the board that I could never picture myself going before. I definitely though they'd be gone before I even got considered.
It was tough sitting there at the draft, just because there are so many commercial breaks and everything is so dragged out, but at the same time it's a great build up. I guess it was good that I didn't go in with really high expectations (about draft position). I felt I had come so far. Before Andover, I was playing at a Division II public school where most kids don't go on to play at the college level or are even considered by NHL teams, so I was just kind of excited to be there.
Dan from New York, N.Y., asks:
What did you think when you found out that Ryan Bourque, a childhood friend from your hometown, was also drafted by the Rangers?
I thought it was funny. We were both laughing because it's such a small world. I hadn't seen him since middle school because he went off to prep school, and then when I went to prep school, he was already in Ann Arbor, so it's kind of weird not seeing a kid for four or five years and then being his roommate at a conditioning camp for a professional team.
Look for more prospects' responses to fans' questions in the days to come here on newyorkrangers.com.