He previously played college ice hockey at Boston College and was drafted in the first round, 19th overall, by the Rangers in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Amateur
Kreider played for Masconomet Regional High School, and later Phillips Academy, a preparatory school in Andover, Massachusetts. Kreider also scored six goals for the gold medal-winning United States World Junior Championship team in 2010.
Kreider"s ten goals in World Junior Championship play ties him with John LeClair and Mike Modano for third all-time among American players, behind just Jeremy Roenick"s 13 and Brian Gionta"s 11.
He was also selected to the senior United States to compete in the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia. His 23 goals were second overall in the Hockey East conference and tied for eighth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
His 45 points were fifth in Hockey East and tied for 19th in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Kreider was also tied for the Hockey East lead in game-winning goals (5), short handed goals (3) and short-handed points (5). He also finished in the top ten in Hockey East with seven power play goals and 17 power play points.
On April 10, 2012, Kreider signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Rangers.
He joined New York the following day for practice, and was eligible to participate in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. He then made his National Hockey League debut in a Stanley Cup playoff game against the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-finals on April 16, 2012. Kreider"s second National Hockey League goal was also a playoff game-winning goal, this time coming against the Washington Capitals on in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals on April 28, making him the first player in National Hockey League history whose first two goals were playoff game-winners.
He ended the 2012 playoffs with five goals, an National Hockey League record for most playoff goals before playing his first regular season game.
The prior record of four such goals was held by Eddie Mazur, and the prior record of three goals in a single post-season prior to playing a regular season game was held by George McPhee and Ray Cote. Kreider scored his first career hat-trick on November 30, 2013, against the Vancouver Canucks in a 5–2 Rangers victory.
On July 23, 2014, Kreider and the Rangers agreed to a two-year, $4.95 million contract.