Unexpected Rangers forward to take on major role during the 2024-25 season

Hunter Bowman
July 4, 2024  (2:59 PM)

New York Rangers forwards
Photo credit: NHL.com

The New York Rangers have quite the roster of forward talent in Alexis Lafreniere, Artemi Panarin, and Mika Zibanejad. Joining them on the top six soon could be another name.

Filip Chytil.

Head Coach Peter Laviolette sees the forward's role in the Rangers lineup becoming bigger next season.
«I think he's a heckuva player,» Laviolette said Tuesday at breakup day. «I think, healthy, he could have a major impact on this team.»

Unfortunately, his regular season was cut short due to what could've been a concussion suffered on November 2nd, against the Carolina Hurricanes.
He would later relapse, which kept him out long-term until the post-season.
Chytil would continue to work on his eventual return, which saw him back in the lineup 6 months later against the same Hurricanes team. He would play in the 2nd round and then sit-out again, until the ECF series against the Panthers rolled around.
«When he was shut down for the season and the Rangers were like ‘take all the time you need,' it was [Chytil] who was pushing and working,» ESPN's Emily Kaplan told Forever Blueshirts. «He was the one that told them ‘I'm making significant progress, I'm ready to go.'»

His efforts were noticed by Laviolette and teammates, it felt like a huge victory for the team to have him back in the lineup, despite his adjustment period.
According to Chytil he'd never stop till he came back:
«No. Never. I know what was going on. Of course, it was harder to go through it but I never had it in my mind that I would never play again,» Chytil said Tuesday. «This is not how I would give up.»

He felt like his old self, while not playing his natural position, which in the playoffs was at the wing. He would score a point and take that small victory into the off-season.
«It was huge,» he said. «I don't know how many people expected that I'd be back and that I'm going to jump into conference finals. That was great for me personally and for my head that I'm able to play.»

According to Laviolette during the first 10 games of the season, he felt Chytil had an excellent chemistry with linemates Panarin and Lafreniere, accumulating six assists.
«He has been in his career a really good player and we were hoping this would be the year he would take off,» Laviolette explained. «That looked like it was going to happen at the start when he was playing with Artemi and ‘Laf.' Their line was excellent. Their numbers were excellent and we were really happy the way that was going.»

Despite playing wing in place of Vinnie Troecheck and Alex Wennberg's spots in the lineup, Laviolette feels that Chytil is a true centerman.
Chytil's goal from here on out, is to return to his best self, which saw him in 2022-2023 score 45 points( 22 G, 23 A) a career-year for the center.
«In the summer, I will work hard like always, maybe even harder because that six months was a long time,» Chytil said. «I will do everything I can to come back in September and be a better player than I ever have been before.»

Which undoubtedly, Laviolette wants by Chytil desires the most to become utilized in his natural role yet again.
Unexpected Rangers forward to take on major role during the 2024-25 season

Do you think Filip Chytil will become a top six forward for the Rangers?

Yes11547.3 %
No12852.7 %
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