New York Rangers make Vitali Kravtsov available for trade

New York Rangers Vitali Kravtsov
Dec 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) reacts after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during third period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Vitali Kravtsov was scratched by the New York Rangers prior to tonight’s huge victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. NY Post reporter Larry Brooks asked head coach Gerard Gallant prior to the match if he didn’t see enough from the winger or just wanted a different look.

“A little bit of both,” Gallant said. “I wasn’t disappointed in him but we wanted a different mix tonight. So it was a combination of both.”

Rumblings around the Rangers is that Kravtsov is now being made available to the league for a trade. This was confirmed by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman during his latest 32 Thoughts segment.

“Kravtsov scratched tonight,” Friedman noted. “I think he’s been made available.”

Vitali Kravtsov up for a trade

vitali kravtsov
Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Kravtsov, 23, has six points in 28 games this season for the Rangers. The former 9th overall pick in the 2018 draft played in 20 games during the 2020-21 season and picked up four points.

Things really came to a head between him and the organization prior to the start of the 2021-22 season. After not making the team out of camp, Kravtsov bolted back home to Russia instead of going to the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL. There was also reports that he was granted permission to speak to other teams in order to facilitate a trade.

Nothing ever came to fruition and the two sides agreed to a one-year extension this summer. Kravtsov even reported to camp in August to begin training but losing all that those development years by playing in the KHL seems to have impacted his ability to stick with the lineup.

There’s no doubt that the winger has the talent to play in the NHL and a fresh start is probably just what he needs. It would also be to his benefit if the acquiring team has an immediate top six role for him to play.

Regarding a possible return for Kravtsov, back in December, a knowledgeable source put his value at no higher than a second-round pick and more likely a third. Seeing where things are now, the Rangers will likely take that return or a prospect in a similar situation that is either a center or a defenseman.

Kravtsov will be an RFA with arbitration rights in July. The Rangers are probably looking to move him by the March 3rd Trade Deadline to avoid a messy contract negotiations as well.

Update: Kravtsov camp asked for trade. Read more.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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