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Ask a Prospect -- Chris Kreider

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Chris Kreider
Chris Kreider, the Rangers' first-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, is at the Madison Square Garden Training Center until Friday, taking part in the team's annual Development Camp. Kreider, who will be a sophomore at Boston College this fall, is coming off a dream season with the Eagles and Team USA, which saw him become only the second American player to win both a World Junior gold medal and NCAA title in the same year.

On Monday afternoon, we invited fans to submit questions for Kreider and other prospects here on Kreider was gracious enough to respond to a few that we passed along to him on Tuesday. Here are the questions and his answers:

Daniel from Jonkoping, Sweden, asks:

How do you think it will feel to play for the New York Rangers?

Kreider's response:

I think it's still just a dream, to be honest, because I have been through so much this year. I was always focusing on the next game and the next shift. I know that sounds kind of cliche, but I was just trying to keep everything near-sighted and not really worrying about about anything down the road. I was always playing in big game after big game, so it was something I sometimes thought about when I'd be going to be at night, but I really had to push it out of my mind, because the next day we'd be playing in a championship game or I had a big game that I had to focus on.

Al Maddalena from Howell, N.J., asks:

What aspects of your game will you be working on in your second year at Boston College?

Kreider's response:

During my exit interview, the coaches had a lot to talk about with me. I still have a lot to work on. I've got to work on my shot-blocking and overall awareness. There are also some little things. I know I have talked about needing to work on little things in the past, but I really know what those little things are now, so I have to keep on working on that.

Thomas from East Meadow, N.Y., asks:

How did playing in the World Championship tournament help you with your game, and did Brandon Dubinsky offer any advice?

Kreider's response:

It was extremely eye-opening just to be able to acknowledge how skilled those players really are. I had never had the chance to play alongside NHL players in an environment like that, so it just kind of gave me an idea of where I have to be if I want to play at that level. I knew Gilroy before from the camp, and he's an amazing guy, but I did get to meet Brandon Dubinsky for the first time. He's another great guy, too. He was extremely helpful. They were probably two of the nicest guys on the team. A young guy like me needed some guidance, and they definitely provided that and looked out for me.

James H. from Caldwell, N.J., asks:

How did it feel to score that unbelievable goal in the Beanpot?

Kreider's response:

At the time and even now, I didn't feel like it was that great of a goal, to be honest. I just kind of did what I always do. I got a little jump on the guy, so I tried to slide it through him. It was something I discussed with the coaches that I probably shouldn't be doing too often unless the defenseman commits like that. Everything just kind of fell into place in a big game. I've said it once, and I'll say it again ... I got lucky.

"Kreider fan" from Charlestown, Mass., asks:

Being born in the shadow of the TD Garden, how do you deal with the Boston-New York rivalry?

Kreider's response:

I think it would be harder for me to deal with it if I was going to be playing for the Yankees. My friends give me a hard time about it, but they really do want to see me do well. I don't think the fans in Boston dislike the Rangers. Obviously, they love the Bruins, but they're not going to give me a hard time about playing for the Rangers. If it was the Canadiens, then it might be a different situation. Actually, the hardest question I had to answer after the draft was whether or not I was going to be a Yankees fan now. I jokingly said yes. At the time, it got taken out of context, which was obviously not a big deal. But my friends were jabbing me in the ribs about it and asking me how I could do that.

Jeremy R. from Englishtown, N.J., asks:

Which player on the current New York Rangers roster do you think you are most like?

Kreider's response:

I don't know, to be honest. I think I kind of play a different game. I don't think I can make that kind of assessment at this point.

David Cain from West Babylon, N.Y., asks:

What current NHL player would you compare yourself to?

Kreider's response:

Maybe Eric Staal of Carolina, but I think it's too hard to compare players, because everyone really has their own skill set. I think I'd compare myself to a power forward. I'm not sure which one, though. That's a tough question.

Max Schonfeld from Brooklyn, N.Y., asks:

Who was your favorite player growing up?

Kreider's response:

I had a bunch. Actually, it's kind of weird. I try to say out of earshot of Ryan, but obviously Ray Bourque. I was a Boston kid and I loved Ray Bourque. Also Joe Thornton and Bill Guerin, especially. Guerin is a BC guy, too. Even now I still have favorite players, and Bill Guerin is one of them.
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