Rangers Roundup: Nils Lundkvist will not come to camp, Vitali Kravtsov on track, and more

In what should be no surprise, Nils Lundkvist will NOT report to New York Rangers camp per his agent Claude Lemieux. When the original story broke regarding the Rangers trying to trade the 2018 first round pick, I spoke with him about the situation.

“We did request a trade when Nils was sent down last year,” Lemieux told me on September 1. “We hope something can get done in the next few weeks.”

As to the why Lundkvist was seeking to be dealt, Lemieux cited a lack of opportunity for the former Borje Salming winner as the SHL’s best defenseman.

Nils Lundkvist won’t be at camp

Lundkvist, 22, was taken 28th overall in the 2018 Draft, part of the package received from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. He has two years left on his entry-level contract with an AAV of $925,000 and will have plenty of teams looking to acquire him.

However, the Rangers aren’t just going to trade him and GM Chris Drury is not known to rush a move. A trade could come before the season starts as both Nils and his agent hope, but Drury’s modus operandi is to take his time until he gets what he wants.

If the Rangers are going to trade Lundkvist before the start of the season, you can safely assume it will be for a similar type prospect. Drury will ask for a highly-ranked player, most likely a center that was selected in the first-round and still has a year or two on their entry-level contract.

Of course, that isn’t set in stone and not many teams are going to be jumping at trading a top center prospect. That’s why I believe this could take much longer and Drury may see more value in saving a top trading chip for the deadline on a rental like Patrick Kane.

Vitali Kravtsov on track

vitali kravtsov
Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov and other Rangers prospects practice at the Rangers training facility in Greenburgh Sept. 5, 2019. Credit: © Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News, Rockland/Westchester Journal News via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Speaking of a prospect that wanted to be traded last year, Vitali Kravtsov has been in New York training since August and looking ready to show what he can do.

“I think he’s on a great track,” Drury said of Kravtsov, who scored seven goals and dished three assists in 15 playoff games for the Kontinental Hockey League’s Chelyabinsk Traktor. “He chose voluntarily to come here very early in the summer. … So that was obviously a great sign that he chose to do that. Come here, he’s had a great summer training, skating. He looks good. We’re excited to see what he has.“Just from what we’ve seen so far, peeking out my window at practices, he looks really good and we’re excited he’s here.”

NY Post

Kravtsov, 22, had a strong 2021-22 campaign 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.

This coming season, he has a real chance to play top 9 minutes on the right wing for the Rangers.

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