Boston college forward Chris Kreider is one of the fastest skaters in college hockey, and he isn’t looking to slow down after a magical rookie season.
Chris Kreider | #20
“It just turned out really well,” says Kreider, 19, of his freshman year. “We weren’t one of the favorites, but it was great to do as well as we did.”
Kreider finished with 15 goals and eight assists for 23 points in 38 contests in his initial collegiate campaign. He missed four games with the Eagles, but he had a good excuse: he was helping Team USA garner a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan over the Christmas break, where he tied for the squad lead with six goals.
He was also on the ice when John Carlson’s wrist shot found the back of the net in overtime in the
championship game against Canada.
“I was right behind him, screaming for a drop pass,” laughs Kreider. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”
Returning to the Eagles, Kreider scored an ESPN Top 10 goal in the Beanpot Tournament championship win over Boston University, and then had two assists in the Hockey East title tilt with Maine. BC then edged Alaska and Yale in the NCAA Northeast Regional, and rolled past top-ranked Miami and Wisconsin at the Frozen Four in Detroit to claim its second national title in three seasons.
“We just really wanted to win,” says Kreider, who tallied a goal in the NCAA championship against
Wisconsin. “It didn’t matter who scored, all the individual accolades went out the door. It was about wins.”
The whirlwind wasn’t quite finished for the 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Boxboro, Mass. After the Eagles celebrated at Ford Field in April, Kreider packed his gear just weeks later and headed to Germany, where he was the only college player on the U.S. roster at the 2010 IIHF World Championships.
He contributed a goal and an assist to the American cause, while appearing alongside a pair of BC
alumni in goaltender Scott Clemmensen and head coach Scott Gordon.
“Everything fell into place, and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had,” admits Kreider, who added that he was well treated by his more experienced teammates. “They really went out of their way to help me, and it was a great group.”
A month after playing in front of over 37,000 fans at the Frozen Four, he skated before more than 77,000 spectators in Germany, the largest documented hockey crowd to date.
“They chanted and made noise the entire game,” he says of the European fans. “I can’t describe how amazing it was.”
Kreider, who starred at both Masconomet Regional High School and Phillips Andover Academy for two years apiece before going to BC, plans on heading back to school this fall. He is enrolled in the Carroll School of Management, and hopes to help the Eagles to another national crown next spring.
He was also selected along with four teammates to take part in the 2010 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.
A first-round draft choice of the New York Rangers in 2009, Kreider recently participated in a rookie development camp with the organization in White Plains, N.Y.
“I’ve had some contact with them here and there,” he says of the Rangers, who have let him progress at his own pace under his college coaches. “They’ve been really good about it.”
Roman J. Uschak is a freelance writer in Union, N.J.
Photo — Getty Images
Hometown: Hagerstown, Md.
Alex Sweeney, a senior and the captain of his high school hockey team, scored a “natural hat trick” on the same shift during a game on Feb. 1, 2010 within 65 seconds. What makes the fete even more remarkable is that all three goals were scored while his team was short handed. Alex added a full-strength goal as the Washington County NorthStars won 9-2.