Friday, December 18, 2009

Del Zotto, Kreider Trailing the Play

In the Hockey's Future's monthly look at NHL prospects who are either exceeding expectations or not quite living up to them, Michael Del Zotto and Cris Krieder are said to be struggling and are placed in the "Trailing the Play" category...

Michael Del Zotto, D – New York Rangers
2008, 1st round, 20th overall
A fiery October has led way to a cool November and a cold December for 19-year-old Del Zotto. After posting four goals, 11 assists in his first 20 games, Del Zotto has potted a goal, four helpers, and a minus-10 over the past 12. Head coach John Tortorella’s confidence in the young blueliner has, at least publicly, not wavered as his ice time is 21:44 through the month of December, over two minutes more than his season average of 19:15. The problem for the offensively gifted defender is how opposing teams key in on him. The additional ice time and responsibility is starting to lead to defensive errors.

...i think after some recent struggles, Del Zotto seems to be turning his game back around. He looked real good the other night against Atlanta and last night he played with some snarl I hadn't seen from him all year.

Chris Kreider, LW – Boston College (Hockey East)
New York Rangers, 2009, 1st round, 19th overall
Some adjustments to the NCAA style of play were to be expected for this first-round pick. However, Kreider's offensive production to date, two goals in 14 games, does not even meet modest expectations for a forward who is highly touted for his skill and conditioning. Still, he has managed to at times show good offensive instincts and puck-protection and has two goals and three assists to show for it. Currently mired in a four -game pointless streak, the 18-year-old has seen a decline in ice time recently. There is no reason to push the panic button though. Kreider is still young and raw. Also, as he is just a first-year player, and holdovers from the previous season such as Ben Smith (CHI) and Cam Atkinson (CLB), are given first crack at power-play duties.

...i know there were some concerns about Kreider's lack of competition at prep and he now seems to be struggling against superior opponents in college. But the kid's just a freshman and has plenty of time to figure it out.


Jason said...

I saw Kreider play a few weeks ago. Rangers blew another pick. This kid is not an NHLer.

Bob said...

I've seen every game for BC this season. Kreider is coming along nicely. Big and fast, he hits full speed in a step or two. His trouble is fitting into a team concept. Hard for a kid who always had teams built around him. Very important player for Boston College. Very strong going to the net. Look for far better numbers in the months ahead.

rusty said...

Let's not forget that Kreider is an 18 year old "true" freshman competing in a D1 setting where most freshmen start their carrers at 19, 20 or even 21! Witness Matt Gilroy, our own 25 year old rookie. Give the kid a chance and I expect he will develop just fine.

James said...

Way to early to call Kreider a blown pick. He has the tools and he has lots of time to put it all together in a very good BC development system.

James said...

BTW, Hockeysfuture is a little late with that report. DZ has been pretty damn good the last few games. This kid is the real deal. He's been showing some snarl to go along with his skill and seems able to play a lot bigger than his current 195lbs. Once he fills out after a couple years to around 210, he could really be something special.