• Anisimov in World Championship Tuneup Event
Forward Chris Kreider
, the Rangers' 2009 first-round draft pick, earned a tremendous honor on Thursday, as he was the lone college player named to Team USA's World Championship squad.
Kreider, who scored six goals to tie for the Team USA lead at the World Junior Championship tournament in Saskatchewan last January, was something of a surprise addition to the 2010 World team, which is comprised primarily of NHL players.
The announcement was an early birthday present for Kreider, who turns 19 on Friday, and yet another remarkable moment in a magical 2009-10 season that has seen him win the World Junior gold medal and the NCAA Championship with Boston College.
With 15 goals and 26 points as a freshman at BC, Kreider was one of the top first-year players in the country this past season. He recently ranked No. 22 on The Hockey News
Future Watch list of the top 50 prospects playing outside the NHL. Just over a year ago, Kreider was playing prep-school hockey at Phillips Andover in Massachusetts.
Kreider becomes the sixth Rangers player or prospect officially named to a national team for the 2010 World Championship, which takes place from May 7-23 in Germany. He is the youngest of the Rangers representatives and also the youngest player on the U.S. team.
Also going to Worlds are forward Brandon Dubinsky
and defenseman Matt Gilroy with Team USA, defensemen Marc Staal
and Michael Del Zotto
with the Canadian team, and forward Artem Anisimov
Defenseman Michal Rozsival is a reported candidate for the Czech team, while Enver Lisin could join Anisimov on the Russian team. Another Ranger headed for the tournament is Mark Messier. The Hall of Fame Blueshirts legend, now a special assistant to Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather, is the General Manager of Team Canada.
The group of up to eight players with Rangers ties will mark the Blueshirts' largest contingent at the World Championship since 1993, when eight roster players, including Mike Richter, Brian Leetch and Mike Gartner, all participated in the tournament.