Kreider, who is tied for second on the Rangers this season with 17 goals, is out indefinitely.
The 22-year-old was injured Friday night in New York's win at the Columbus Blue Jackets but played in the next two games before coming out of the lineup while a determination was made on how to proceed.
"Waiting for the doctors to tell us what was the best course of action," coach Alain Vigneault said. "He came to the conclusion yesterday and he got operated on today."
In his first full NHL season, Kreider has 37 points in 66 games. The first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2009 NHL Draft was a key part of the Rangers' run to the 2012 Eastern Conference Final and has six goals and nine points in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"You can't sing the blues," forward Brad Richards said. "There are so many teams around the League that have tons of injuries and different things going on."
The Rangers recalled forward J.T. Miller from the American Hockey League in Kreider's absence. Miller has three goals and six points in 29 games with the Rangers this season.
"Obviously you don't want injuries to happen, especially with these circumstances, but it's another opportunity," Miller said. "Hopefully [Kreider] can get healthy as soon as he can. I wish the best for him."