The New York Rangers knew that the 2023 offseason would be a difficult one to traverse with several young stars potentially going on the open market.
Wednesday afternoon the team made sure one of their brightest young stars would remain a member of the franchise for the foreseeable future. New York agreed to terms with Filip Chytil on a four-year extension that would keep the former first-rounder in the Big Apple until the 2026-27 season.
“It means a lot. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think about it too much this season. I just was focusing on my game and it just came yesterday. I’m very happy that it’s done.” Chytil explained during the Rangers’ morning skate Thursday afternoon.
Chytil has been in the midst of a breakout season in his sixth year with the team. Working with his fellow “kid line” partners Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko, the 23-year-old has recorded career highs in points, goals, and assists. For the speed demon though, this year has been a culmination of many years of development.
“I know the production wasn’t there that much the first years. But this year, finally, it’s coming along with my game. It’s what I’m saying all the time, it’s about [the] process and about the hard work that I’m putting in,” Chytil said. “Happy that I can see that hard work pays off. It’s not finished. It’s just started for me. Just keep doing what I’m doing.”
In the lead-up to a potential extension, Chytil knew something was going on but continued to focus on the day-to-day demands of being on a championship-caliber roster. It wasn’t until Wednesday morning that he knew he’d be a member of the Rangers for four more years.
“In the morning I didn’t know but when we got here to Jersey I got a call and I was very happy about it…my focus was to stay here. We have fantastic people,” said Chytil.
New York has several other young players that are in line for extensions following the conclusion of the 2023 season. K’Andre Miller and Lafreniere are all in line for extensions next season. Add in potential deals with newcomers like Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko and the Rangers have plenty of work to do to continue to put forward a championship-level roster.
While there certainly is cause for celebration for Chytil, New York’s playoff run is just beginning to start. A win Thursday night in New Jersey would put New York in the second seed in the Metropolitan division and just three points back of Carolina for the top seed.
It’s a moment of celebration for Chytil and a confirmation that his hard work has paid off to this point in his NHL career – but as with a team that’s contending – there’s bigger fish to fry in the coming weeks.
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