Coach Alain Vigneault intimated at the opening of training camp that it was finally Chris Kreider’s time to shine.
The 24-year-old left winger burst onto the scene with five goals during the 2012 playoffs but has alternated between potential superstar and invisible man ever since.
With Martin St. Louis gone from his front-line leadership role and speedy Carl Hagelin departed as well, the Rangers need Kreider to deliver points much more consistently than he has over his first three seasons.
He posted career bests of 21 goals and 25 assists in 2014-15, but for the Rangers to become a more formidable high-scoring team — rather than one that relies all-too-heavily on Henrik Lundqvist’s talent between the pipes — Kreider has to step up and be their second-best scoring option behind the enigmatic Rich Nash.
“It’s time to become one of the go-to guys on our team,” Vigneault said of the young winger.