New York Rangers: Top-10 prospects under 24

Vitaly Kravtsov, New York Rangers. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Vitaly Kravtsov, New York Rangers. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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New York Rangers
Filip Chytil, New York Rangers. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

4. Filip Chytil (19), Center

The 19-year-old Czech center has proved so far that he isn’t intimidated by the size and speed of NHL players, despite his young age. Filip Chytil has made the team out of training camp in each of the last two seasons. He would likely have spent all of 2017-18 with the team if management hadn’t wanted to save a year of his entry-level contract.

Last season, he stayed with the Blueshirts all season, playing in 75 games. He scored 23 points, including seven on the power play. Chytil’s porous defensive play (-22) kept him off the ice at times. It’s an area of his game that must improve so that his offensive talents get a chance shine. Judging by his past play in Europe, Chytil can be very effective on both the forecheck as well as getting back to his own zone. He needs to make a few more defensive adjustments, but his hustle is not in question.

A good term to describe his game, especially his skating ability is “fire on ice.” Chytil can flat out fly. That’s what made him a big threat on the rush, in his junior career. It’s his ability to create space for himself when defenders close in, which is really what will make him a top-line player. The video below showcases his abilities.

Pair his quick shot release once he gets that space with some high-quality linemates who can get to the net and the recipe for success is in place. He may not be ready to assume a top-six role early in the season, but Chytil will likely center the second line by the end of it.