Rangers Roundup: Chris Drury on Vitali Kravtsov, Kaapo Kakko ramps up training, and more

The Rangers have a very big week on tap as both Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux’s situations will be resolved. In the meantime, let’s take a look at two Blueshirts that will be a big part of the future.

Vitali Kravtsov and his great start

Assistant GM, Chris Drury spoke about Vitali Kravtsov recently and in particular his time in the bubble and his hot KHL start. “It was really encouraging to see another guy in the bubble that we got to spend a lot of time with in Hartford,” Drury began.

Most importantly, Drury stressed how important it was for the Rangers staff and players to get to know him. It also helped Kravtsov to see what it takes to make it in the NHL and to see how much harder it is versus the AHL and KHL.

Drury then went into Kravtsov’s play in the KHL and noted his high level talent. “That’s why we took him where we did in the draft and he’s off to a great start.”

Kaapo Kakko working hard on the ice

Kaapo Kakko is looking to take the next big step in his young NHL career. He posted a video on his Instagram showing him working on his shot which should become his bread and butter in the league.

“I’ve been working out so far at the gym and Turku Sports Park or the sports hall. Under the guidance of Marko Rautala,” Kakko noted in a Finnish interview. “I am trying to get more speed and strength, and the training is similar to what I’ve done the last three seasons.”

Kaapo Kakko on last season and his goal for this one

Kaapo Kakko Rangers
Kaapo Kakko #2 pick overall 2019 (Bruce Bennet/Getty Images)

When asked about last season, Kakko was very honest. “The first season was a learning experience. Now I know what level I need to be able to play at in the NHL,” he said. “I was on the third and fourth line for most of the year and it is easier to play 16-17 minutes a game instead of 10.” Kakko also noted that towards the end of the season his game and ice time improved.

As far as next season goes, he wants to get on the top lines. “Getting to the scoring lines is my goal,” Kakko revealed. “I finished the season on the second line, and I want to be on the ice when the games are on the line.”

Ultimately, Kakko wants to continue to develop as a player. He knows he had to earn David Quinn’s trust and he believes at the end he did.

Report: NHL will not play less than 48 games next season

A new report indicates that no matter what, the NHL will not play less than 48 games next season. Here’s a link to the full article.