The explosion of Adam Fox has perhaps been the best part of the current season for both the fans of the New York Rangers and the team itself. The organization hopes that Fox is the first of many young stars to break out for the franchise. Other young stars awaiting their huge break include Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, and K’Andre Miller, but one youngster who should not be forgotten is Filip Chytil.
The skilled centerman is currently in his fourth season as a Ranger and is currently scoring at his best pace thus far in his young career. To this point, Chytil has 13 points in 24 games. It is worth noting that Chytil has missed time this season due to injury, meaning there is a good chance his numbers could be even better.
Flashes of Brilliance
Chytil has the ability to be the most exciting player on the ice at any given time. He has exceptional puck-handling skills and can occasionally be seen weaving through defenders with ease. he has also been working hard on improving his play in his own end, and we are seeing the progress, as he is becoming more of a two-way player every week.
While it is evident that Chytil has the raw talent to become an undisputed top-six forward, he needs to continue his development in all three zones.
While I would consider Chytil a playmaker, I wouldn’t consider him a playmaker in the historical sense. When hockey fans think “playmaker,” they think Nicklas Backstrom, Mitch Marner, Artemi Panarin, and so on. Chytil is more of a scorer than a setup man, but I would not consider him a sniper. His hands in tight and on the rush lead him to scoring chances in the slot. While he doesn’t possess a rocket of a shot, he scores slightly more often than he records assists.
But that isn’t to say that he struggles setting his teammates up for scoring chances. It just seems that playing in the bottom-six over the course of his career, he has never really had a scoring threat by his side. He seems to take on a “do-it-yourself” mentality at times. And this mindset isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is solely dependent on the personnel on the ice with him, and what role he needs to play.
Finding the Right Fit
Filip seems to constantly be New York’s third-line center, occasionally throughout his career seeing time on the wing. While being versatile in the positions he can play is always a positive, I believe Ranger fans would primarily like to see him continue to develop as a center, and eventually be a clear-cut second-liner.
With the addition of Colin Blackwell to the second-line right-wing spot alongside Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome, Chytil finds himself currently skating with Alexis Lafreniere on his left and Kaapo Kakko on his right. This line has a combined age of 60 years old.
Full of youth and skill, the new Rangers third line looks to provide some depth scoring to help out the likes of the KZB line, as well as the Strome and Panarin partnership. In their first game together, both Chytil and Kakko registered two points each, while Lafreniere potted a goal of his own.
While I hope that the kids’ line can continue to produce and grow, I would eventually like to see Chytil promoted to the second line alongside Panarin, as I believe his future is bright, and he can start developing chemistry with the Breadman sooner rather than later.
Junior writer covering the New York Rangers for The Hockey Writers.