"Chris Needs To Play"

“ Listen, you're a player who walks into the NHL in a pressure situation and you play well, it's not what you want to hear, that you're going down (to the minors). But Chris needs to play, and this is the best possible scenario for Chris right now. ”
- Jeff Gorton
“ We all know that Chris is a good kid, and he's going to go down (to the Whale) and work and give everything he has. So that's the plan, he'll play at the highest league he can play at right now. ”
- Jeff Gorton
“ It's about becoming a good pro and rounding out his game in all areas. That's what we want to see from Chris. He needs to round out his game, mature as a pro, naturally as anybody his age and experience would have to. ”
- Jeff Gorton

There are many, many reasons why Rangers management sees a bright future for the team's 2009 first rounder Chris Kreider. There is his blazing on-ice speed, his soft hands and wickedly quick release on his shot. There is also his tremendous work ethic, intelligence, and passion to be at the top of his craft. And it doesn't hurt that he wins everywhere he goes---2 NCAA Championships at Boston College, a gold and bronze medal in two turns with Team USA at the World Championships.

Then last spring he burst on to the NHL scene under the most pressure-packed of circumstances, making his NHL debut during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, where he scored five goals and totaled seven points in 18 games.

Now he will start the 2012-13 season, his first as a professional, next weekend in the Connecticut Whale's training camp. With Rangers camp on hold temporarily, management wants its top prospect to continue to develop and craft his game as a pro at the AHL level, and Jeff Gorton, the Rangers Assistant General Manager, expects Kreider to do exactly that with the Whale.

See what Gorton has to say about Chris Kreider starting the season with the Whale, then share your thoughts below.

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