In a recent Q&A session with Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, a question was brought up. “Have you talked to Jeff (Gorton) about call-ups?” In which the Rangers coach responded, “Yes, we’re slowly working on the two young kids, Lias and Filip. I think Lias is -tonight’s game ten- game nine and then Filip has seven (referring to games they have until 1 year of their Entry Level Contract is burned). I think there’s a real good chance that we see those kids up here real soon” the same reporter asked him if “it was possible that Lias comes up on Thursday?” AV said “Yes”.
What to expect
Andersson and Chytil are two players that I’ve been anticipating being called up since after the trade deadline. They both play a specific kind of hockey but each of their games complement each other.
Andersson plays a complete game. He is known to “never take a shift off” and is an “excellent team player” (eliteprospects.com). Watching him during the World Juniors, he showed me just that. He loves to place himself in front of the net and wins races to loose pucks. He finished the WJC with 6 goals and 1 assist for 7 points in 7 games.
Age: 19, to be 20
Weight: 204 lbs
Henrik Zetterberg (Future Considerations)
David Krejci (Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News)
Derek Stepan (Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News)
The NHL Network before the WJC Summer Showcase had Andersson rated as such:
Hockey IQ: 5 out of 5
Compete: 4.5 out of 5
Skating: 4 out of 5
Puck Skills: 3.5 out of 5
Scoring: 3 out of 5
You can’t teach heart. That might be Lias’ strongest asset along with his work ethic, which is some of the best I’ve seen in a player. Everything else will come to him in time and with experience.
The captain of Team Sweden in this year’s World Junior Championship, Andersson infamously threw his awarded silver medal into the crowd after a devastating loss to Team Canada in the Gold Medal game this year. I don’t really blame him. His brain is wired to win. For a casual fan, it might seem immature. To me, it really shows that he sets himself and his team to a high standard and that’s good for a team that’s rebuilding. The biggest reason for his actions at the tournament was that he has never won a gold medal in any tournament. Lias played in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge back in 2015 and he tallied 1 goal and 3 assists for 4 points in 6 games while Sweden captured a bronze medal. The next year, Andersson played very well in the Under-18 World Junior Championship tallying 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in 7 games, but Sweden ended up losing that tournament to Finland 6-1 in the Gold Medal game. Being competitive is part of the game, but to have enough passion to take a silver medal and toss it to someone in the crowd, showing that 2nd place isn’t enough, takes some kind of winners’ mindset, no?
He currently plays with the Hartford Wolfpack, the Rangers AHL affiliate and has 5 goals and 9 assists and had 2 assists in 4 preseason games this year for the Rangers, one of them being on the power play. He also won 50% of his faceoffs at the center position. (https://www.foxsports.com/nhl/lias-andersson-player-stats?seasonType=3)
Chytil is a very fluid skater that reaches top speed quickly and has an accurate shot with good velocity behind it. He doesn’t shy away from a gritty, hard-nosed play which is impressive considering his size (6’2″ 192 lbs). He will need to pack on a few pounds to his upper body if he wants to succeed in 1 on 1 battles at the NHL level. His WJC showing wasn’t a full representation of what he’s capable of, only tallying 2 goals and 2 assists in 7 games. That being said, Filip Zadina was on his team and he tore up the WJC.
Age: 18, to be 19
Weight: 192 lbs
Tomas Plekanec (SportsNet)
Player Ratings (McKeen’s Hockey uses 20-80 scale)
Filip Chytil has the potential to grow into a high-end NHL talent considering that he’s played with the older competition from age 15 and has been developing his game since.
Chytil played with projected #2 or #3 of the draft Filip Zadina this year in the World Junior Championship and was noticeable when on the ice. He might’ve been the steal of the draft, other than Toronto’s Timothy Liljegren at #17. People have speculated that he was overlooked due to his birthday being 10 days before eligibility for the 2018 draft (September 5th, 1999) where he might’ve have gone in the top 10.
At just 15 years old, he dominated the HC Zlin U16 program with 30-18-48 in 25 games. He was then promoted in that same season to the U18 program at HC Zlin and tallied nine points in 18 games.
As a 16-year-old, Chytil scored 28-22-50 in 30 HC Zlin U18 games. He also scored seven points in 20 games in international play in a U17 program.
Then, as a 17-year-old, scored 8 points in 38 HC Zlin games against men. He’s a clutch performer in the playoffs as well. Chytil had a goal and an assist in 2 games that helped his team avoid relegation.
He also had an overtime goal and 2 assists for 3 points in 4 preseason games that forced management to put him on the NHL roster. (https://www.foxsports.com/nhl/filip-chytil-player-stats?seasonType=3)
You can see that here:
In conclusion, Filip Chytil has shown success in previous tournaments and season play that has not only increased his stock as an NYR prospect but has gotten me excited to watch it unfold in the NHL.