New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider is going to be one of the most talked about players as the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline approaches.
It's not hard to understand why. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound winger has the type of power forward skill set that is well-suited for the Stanley Cup playoffs, which makes him an attractive trade target for any contending team. In fact, NBC Sports Boston's Bruins insider Joe Haggerty reported earlier this week that Kreider "will be the Bruins' top option for a top-six winger at the trade deadline, according to multiple hockey sources."
The Rangers are 11 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, so the chances of the Blueshirts making the postseason are pretty slim. Kreider is an unrestricted free agent in July, and it would make sense for the Rangers to trade him before the deadline and not risk losing a very talented player for nothing in free agency.
Kreider was asked about his Rangers future at NHL All-Star Media Day on Thursday, and his immediate focus is solely on his current team.
"I’m just worried about winning hockey games," Kreider said Thursday at All-Star Media Day, per ProHockeyTalk. "Winning solves a lot of problems. It’s the old adage and probably a little bit cliché, but we take it one day at a time, one game at a time and just try and get better. I think we are getting better. Our group’s worlds better than we were at the beginning of the year.”
Kreider also added: "I’ve only ever pictured myself in a Rangers jersey, and until I’m not a Ranger, I’m a Ranger.”
The 28-year-old forward has tallied 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 48 games this season. He's almost certainly going to hit the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in his career.
Besides his offensive skill and physical style of play, Kreider also is a good target for the Bruins because of his familiarity with Boston. He was born in Massachusetts and played three seasons at Boston College.
Kreider has 77 games of playoff experience as well, and several of his 23 career postseason goals came in clutch situations.
The Bruins have a great chance to win the Stanley Cup this season, and it would behoove them to upgrade their roster with another proven top-six forward who can provide secondary scoring behind the Perfection Line. Kreider is an ideal player for that type of role.