Having wrapped up the 2012 Frozen Four with an NCAA title, Chris Kreider will now join the New York Rangers. The 20-year-old forward join the club on Wednesday and will be eligible to play for the club in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs, according to TSN.
Kreider signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the club. By simply showing up to practice with the club, Kreider will burn a year of that entry-level contract, bringing him one year closer to free agency. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Kreider's deal hits the salary cap at an average annual value of $1.3 million.
Kreider is fresh off a national championship with the Boston College Eagles and was arguably the top prospect in the college ranks this season. By signing with New York, he's giving up his eligibility for his senior season with Boston College.
Some may question whether Kreider is ready to make the leap from NCAA hockey to the pro game -- in the Stanley Cup playoffs, no less. He's expected to make the transition just fine and should make the Rangers an even more dangerous team come Game 1 against the Ottawa Senators and beyond. Should the team fail to go deep into the playoffs and should Kreider fail to be an immediate contributor, though, burning that year of his entry-level deal could turn out to hurt the Rangers over the long-term.