Rangers Welcome First Rounder Filip Chytil to Roster
Czech Republic-born Chytil was the 21st pick overall from this year’s draft. Born 10 days shy of the Sept.15th, 1999 the 2017 draft cutoff date, the 18-year-old’s talent has carried him through training camp with flying colors. Chytil will lace up his skates as part of the Rangers roster this fall.
Head coach Alain Vigneault stated previously to Sporting News that “talent has no age,” a quote he will no doubt be challenged on as the season unfolds. The NHL’s rigorous 82-game schedule is infamously challenging for rookies much older than Chytil. However, Chytil has overcome hurdles already in his infantile career. Beginning training camp with a groin injury, Chytil missed the Traverse City Tournament. Luckily, the injury didn’t appear to hinder his talent as he jumped right into preseason action on Sept. 20th, netting the game winning goal against the New Jersey Devils. Chytil finished pre-season with three points in four games.
Chytil’s resume is growing quickly. He was awarded the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award which is given to the most impressive rookie each training camp. Veteran Blueshirts are also singing Chytil’s praises along with management.
Praise from Fellow Blueshirts
“He’s really skilled. You can see that in practice every day, the way he moves the puck and sees the ice,” said forward, Mats Zuccarello to the New York Post regarding Chytil’s performance. Zuccarello wore the “A” in pre-season and has been a consistent strength for New York since joining the squad in 2010. Additionally, in a photo leaked on Twitter, Chytil’s number, 72, centers a line of Rick Nash and Zuccarello. The second line. Chytil’s elevation above Kevin Hayes is a large wake up call for number 13 to step up his play. Hayes was the center of conversation last year due to his improved fitness. However, with a new kid on the block, Hayes may have missed his window of Rangers stardom.
Despite the positive conversation surrounding Chytil, depth at center remains a large question mark for the Rangers. Additionally, Vigneault has historically favored older players, despite their quality of play. However, with the blockbuster moves the Rangers made this off-season, a new leaf is turning over.
The Blueshirts will continue to hold their breath to see if Chytil answers their question at center when the puck drops October 5th, and beyond.
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