Ask a Ranger at Worlds -- Chris Kreider
Blueshirts prospect and Team USA forward answers questions from fans
• View Responses from Marc Staal
• Kreider Part of Bright Rangers Future
Rangers prospect Chris Kreider, the Blueshirts' first-round draft pick in 2009, is in Germany this month, playing for Team USA at the IIHF World Championship tournament. Currently enrolled at Boston College, he is the only college hockey player on this year's U.S. roster.
Earlier this week, we invited fans to submit questions for Kreider here on newyorkrangers.com, and he was gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to respond to a few that we passed along to him. Here are the questions and his answers:
Amanda from Katonah, N.Y., asks:
What are some of the things you've learned in your first year playing for Boston College that you think will help you in the future?
I have learned so much at Boston College. It is hard to really pinpoint one thing, as I firmly believe everything the coaches have been able to teach me will be useful in my future hockey endeavors. If I had to lock in on one thing, however, I think that learning when to use my speed has been one of the most fundamental teaching lessons I have encountered and am still attempting to conquer. The coaches have emphasized this aspect of timing, and I think that it has improved, but there is still plenty of room for further improvement. In high school, I would disregard timing and attempt to skate full speed as often as I possibly could to get behind the defenseman. At the college level, and certainly the professional level, that is not an option, and if I want to be effective, I have to continue concentrating on that aspect of my game. Watching tape by myself and with coaches has been critical in that regard.
Nick from Northport, N.Y., asks:
How much do you think playing in the World Championships against NHL competition will help your game progress and ease your eventual transition to the NHL?
I think that it has been a fantastic opportunity in terms of accelerating my development. There is just so much I can still learn, and need to learn, and playing with and against this level of competition has really been an eye opener. I have been able to acknowledge how hard they work and what it takes to compete at their level, and I hope that I can bring back some of what I have learned to the college game.
Brian Cioffi from Massapequa, N.Y., asks:
How has this experience at the World Championships compared to your experience at the World Junior tournament?
It is hard to compare the two experiences really. Both have been absolutely fantastic. The guys on both teams are some of the classiest teammates I have ever had. USA Hockey really does a great job selecting its teams. I played a different role on both teams, but feel like I have learned plenty from both experiences.
Anthony McEldowney from Park Ridge, N.J., asks:
How did it feel when you found out that you were going to be the only college player on Team USA for the World Championship tournament?
When I found out that I was going to be the only college player on Team USA for the World Championships, I was ecstatic. It has just been such an honor to be selected to compete alongside professionals, and some of the best talent our country has to offer.
Brendan McElroy from Boston asks:
You played in both the World Juniors and Frozen Four. Which did you feel was a higher level of competition?
It is hard to compare, really, because both were totally different styles of play and in very different venues.
Peter G. Scibelli from Forest Hills, N.Y., asks:
Scouts often talk about your skating as your best asset. What off-ice program do you follow to help your skating?
I had trained with Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning for several years leading up to my freshman year at Boston College, and I truly feel that that was the key to my development as a skater.
Gabbi R. from Fords, N.J., asks:
Would you rather play center or wing in the NHL? Do you feel your speed would make you more effective at center?
To be honest, I feel much more comfortable playing wing, but if a coach or management so desired that I play center, I would be more than happy to learn the intricacies of the position to help the team win in any way that I can.
Chris Adams from Bellport, N.Y., asks:
You're the "baby" on Team USA. Do you get treated differently by teammates because you are the youngest player?
I do not believe that I am treated differently. They have all been very respectful, kind, and willing to help. hey are consummate professionals in everything they do, so there has been little disparity between how they treat me compared to other players. Being the youngest on the team, there are some harmless digs made about my age, but nothing near hostile. They have been fantastic teammates, and I owe them so much for making this experience as great as it has been.
Chris from Lebanon, N.J., asks:
What was your favorite hockey team, while growing up?
Growing up, I was always a Bruins fan. I lived in Charlestown for a while, which is in view of the Garden, so I grew up a die-hard Bruins fan.
Jeff from Bloomfield, N.J., asks:
Why did you choose the college route over major junior hockey, and what was it about Boston College that made it your top choice?
I grew up in the college atmosphere, going to Hockey East games in the area as a kid. I dreamt of playing college hockey and was not willing to pass that up. When it came time to make a college decision, Boston College was really a no-brainer; it had everything I wanted in a school.