Rangers Roundup: Traktor signs Kravtsov for one year; Lafrenière on improving; and more

vitali kravtosv
Apr 13, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Nicholas Merkley (39) battles for the puck against New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers made the KHL loan of Vitali Kravtsov official on Wednesday. Sports24 in Russia broke the story on Monday and noted that Traktor and Kravtsov were working on a contract.

Today, they announced that the 21 year-old, who played five seasons with the team is with them for the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign.

Rangers’ Kravtsov officially signs with Traktor

“Vitaly Kravtsov returns to Traktor,” the club posted on social media. “The contract with the forward was signed through the end of the 2021/2022 season.”

Per the team they reached an agreement on a unilateral contract with the Blueshirts 1st round pick (9th overall) from the 2018 Draft.

“I want to thank the Rangers for working with me, and appreciate the open and honest conversations we have had during this process,” Kravtsov said. “While this has been a challenging time for me personally, I believe having the opportunity to return to Traktor and work on my game is the best thing for me right now. My main focus is getting better every day to continue towards my goal of playing hockey for the New York Rangers.”

Alexis Lafrenière not phased by Gallant’s critique

Alexis Lafrenière
Feb 18, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers third line of Filip Chytil, Sammy Blais, and Alexis Lafrenière had a better game against Vancouver but failed to get on the scoresheet. After practice, Alexis admitted they still needed to do a better job of managing the puck and responded to a question on the head coach’s recent criticism.

“I think it’s normal, [Gerard Gallant] wants good games from everyone,” Lafrenière said. “I had tough game against Calgary. You know when you’re not playing good or not, so I don’t feel weird at all [about criticism].”

Lafrenière, 20, is no stranger to scrutiny. Since being a young hockey star in Quebec it’s something he’s used to and fuel for motivation.

“Yeah, I just like to know what I’m doing wrong on the ice,” he explained. “It’s good for [Gallant] to tell me what to improve so I can apply it on the ice and be as good as I can.”

This season, Alexis has three goals and four points in 10 games. For his career, he’s recorded 25 points in 66 games.

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