New York Rangers sign Vitali Kravtsov to 1-year deal

vitali kravtsov
May 5, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Daniel Carr #28 of the Washington Capitals checks Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have come to terms on a 1-year deal with forward Vitali Kravtsov. The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed but per Vince Mercogliano it’s a one-way contract for $875,000.

This is a great deal for both sides as Kravtsov can’t be sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack without clearing waivers. In addition, if the goal is to trade Kravtsov as I suspect, having him under contract raises his value versus trying to trade his rights.

Last season, a knowledgeable source told me that the best return the Rangers are likely to get would be a second round pick. That is very similar to what Lias Anderson, another disgruntled first round pick received in a trade.

That pick was used to draft Will Cuylle.

New York Rangers sign Vitali Kravtsov

vitali kravtsov
Apr 6, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers prepares to skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at Madison Square Garden on April 06, 2021 in New York City.. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Kravtsov, 22, had a strong season in the KHL. In 19 regular season contests, he potted 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points. During the playoffs, he added 7 goals and a total of 10 points in 15 games.

The New York Rangers selected him in the 2018 Draft, 9th overall. Kravtsov’s situation and fallout with the organization is well documented.

In October, Kravtsov requested a trade after refusing to join the Wolf Pack in the AHL before bolting to Russia. That was the second time he’s done so with the first being in 2019, when he used his European Out Clause.

Before he left in 2019, then GM of the Pack Chris Drury reportedly admonished him and said he quit on the team.

Have the two sides patched things up enough for Kravtsov to be given a spot in the lineup next season? That remains to be seen, but the expectation is a trade at the draft in July.

Larry Brooks of the NY Post noted in April that the plan was for him to prepare with the Rangers in the summer.

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