Rangers Prospects Roundup: KHL Playoffs, Reunanen and more
The Rangers have 3 prospects in the KHL playoffs this season. This week was the final round of the regular season in Russia. Vitali Kravtsov and his team Traktor Chelyabinsk qualified for the playoffs on Wednesday before they even started their game. The only other team in the race for the playoffs, Sibir Novosibirsk, lost which gave Traktor a four-point lead with one game to go for Sibir.
Vitali Kravtsov was scoreless in the last three games of the season this week, which saw his team go 1-2. Kravtsov finished the season first in points, goals, and assists among teenagers on a team that will go down as the worst offensive club to ever reach the KHL playoffs, with a goal-per-game average of 1.64.
Igor Shestyorkin had his tenth shutout of the season in his final regular season game and he finishes the season first in SV%, Win%, and GAA, and is now ranked eighth all-time in shutouts in the KHL, and first in SKA team history. With Shestyorkin expressing interest to come over to North America, and Magnus Hellberg signing an extension, it seems likely SKA will go with Hellberg in the
Our third and final prospect to reach the KHL playoffs is Yegor Rykov. The 21-year-old defenseman, who was acquired in the deadline trade that sent Michael Grabner to the New Jersey Devils, finishes the season tied for first in points among defensemen in his age group. Rykov is having a great season, after being traded to Sochi early on, going from a seventh defenseman with SKA to a top-pair blue liner.
The matchups for our 3 prospects are:
Traktor Chelyabinsk vs Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg
HC Sochi vs Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
SKA St Petersburg vs Spartak Moscow
In Finland, all eyes seem to be focused on Tarmo Reunanen. His 22nd point came in Lukko’s only game this week, against KalPa, with Reunanen playing 19:52 min. Lukko is currently tied with Lahti Pelicans and HIFK at 86 points and is just one point behind HPK. Three of these teams will most likely finish in the top-six, which would mean direct qualification for the quarterfinals. The no 7-10 seeds will play in a wildcard round to determine the final two teams in the quarterfinals.
Lauri Pajuniemi, the organization’s other Finn, played one game this week, ironically also against KalPa. He was scoreless in a 2-0 win with both goals scored by 2019 top prospect Kaapo Kakko. Pajuniemi has 13 points (5G, 8A) in 37 games this season.
The last prospect we look at is Dominik Lakatoš who played three games this week with his team Bílí Tygři Liberec, with 1 assist and a +1 with an average TOI of 11:08. This was his first point since his return from loan early February.