Gauging interest in New York Rangers disgruntled forward Vitali Kravtsov

New York Rangers forward Vitali Kravtsov is available. The team is unhappy with him, and he’s unhappy with the team. The 21 year-old refused his assignment to the AHL, was granted permission to seek a trade, and is at home in Russia waiting for one.

Whenever a highly drafted prospect is available on the trade market, it generates a certain level of buzz. A lot of that noise is generally created by fans, and some members of the media. In other cases, especially concerning hockey’s inner circles, it could be coming from the agents or teams.

So what’s the actual interest level in Kravtsov?

Kravtsov has all but 20 games of NHL experience under his belt recording 2 goals and 2 assists. Being the 9th overall selection in the 2018 Draft has its value, but what that truly is remains to be seen.

vitali kravtsov trade
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) poses for a photo with team representatives after being selected as the number nine overall pick to the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, a report surfaced that five teams were “interested” in the young winger. Today, Nick Kypreos tweeted out that as many as 15 teams are in on the kid. He cited specifically the Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets.

All three are small market Canadian based teams.

Forever Blueshirts was told that at least three teams had legit interest in acquiring him at the beginning of the week. Previous to that, I was told that the return was expected to be a second round pick, most likely from a team with multiple second round selections.

Lo and Behold, two of the three teams Kypreos mentioned (CGY and OTT) have multiple picks in the second round of the 2023 NHL Draft.

The bottom line, there’s a high probability that this is likely coming from the Kravtsov camp. It’s a motivational tactic. If a team is interested but thinks there’s minimal competition, they won’t feel any urgency to make a deal or up their offer. But if they were led to believe that 15 other teams were after the same player and they could miss out? Well, you can clearly see the maneuver.

At this time, I would not expect a trade to happen soon.

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