In June of 2018, the New York Rangers had drafted Vitali Kravtsov at ninth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. Kravtsov was already coming into a high-class from the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). The now 20-year old played as a winger for Traktor Chelyabinsk, where he had put up a mediocre regular season of 7 points (4 goals + 3 assists) in 35 games, but came out to perform in the Gagarin Cup Playoffs.
Although Traktor did not achieve its glory of winning, Kravtsov performed a count of 11 points (six goals + five assists) over the course of 16 games. Even though this led him to only obtaining 18 points in 51 appearances, he was still considered a bright talent, but where is he now?
Officially Starting Off
Vitali Kravtsov was signed to a professional contract in 2016, where he came on as a rookie scoring a goal in the Gagarin Cup Playoffs. The following season, Kravtsov played a total of 35 games and raised his tally to seven points in the regular season with a total of 11 points in 16 games during the Cup Playoffs. This caught the Rangers’ attention.
So on draft day of 2018, the Rangers announced that they would draft the then teen to their squad. The next season Kravtsov chose to stay in Russia, continuing to surpass his achievements from previous seasons and held a career-high point-scoring record of 21 points in 50 regular games in the 2018-19 season. Though he only scored two points in four games during the playoffs, this was a turning point for Kravtsov. He finally developed that scoring mentality, preparing him to continue training and working hard.
Contributions To The Team
As you can see, we understand that Vitali Kravtsov has the potential in him to break onto that Manhattan ice and prove to the team as well as the fans that he was worth the 9th overall pick. Today, it would only make sense for the Rangers to bring in Kravtsov since they just lost right-winger Jesper Fast, a long time player for the team.
Even if Fast had a more defensive game than Kravtsov, this would allow Kravtsov to come in and take his spot, continuing to help New York. The quicker he comes to the Rangers the quicker he’ll be able to adapt to the environment surrounding him. Fun, relentless, and a bit of pressure. Rangers fans have waited a long time for the Russian native and are ready for him to enter the grandest stage of all: the National Hockey League.
Will He Come Over?
It is clear that the Rangers really need Vitali Kravtsov on their roster as soon as possible. He shows that he can contribute in many ways, playing on both the left and right wings while on the ice. He has the speed, talent, and skills to make it big on broadway.
With his Russian connections with others such as Artemi Panarin, Pavel Buchnevich, and Igor Shesterkin, the team chemistry will improve on and off the ice, creating a fun and lifelike environment for Kravtsov and the Rangers. Only time will tell when the young Russian truly does pack his bags and move halfway around the world, and when he does, the Rangers will be ready.