Rangers Roundup: Vitali Kravtsov finding a groove, Brennan Othmann impresses, and more
Vitali Kravtsov is starting to finally get into a groove with the New York Rangers after being a healthy scratch more often than not this season. Heading into action against the Minnesota Wild tomorrow, he’s now played in 11 consecutive games.
Even better than that, the 23 year-old forward has moved up from the fourth line to the second line with Vincent Trocheck and Artemi Panarin thanks to his attention to detail in all three zones. During this stretch, Kravtsov has registered a goal and two assists with a +2 rating.
“Right now I feel more comfortable,” Kravtsov said after practice on Monday. “I believe in myself. Troch and Bread help me a lot on the ice. After every good play, I feel more confident. I hope I can keep going.”
Vitali Kravtsov finding a groove
The young skilled forward has been smiling plenty lately. After a tumultuous start to his Rangers career that saw him bolt for Russia twice due to not making the team out of camp and then asking for a trade two summers ago, he’s starting to settle in.
Things did not go well for the 2018 first-round pick to begin this season as he was injured after playing just 88 seconds in the team’s home opening win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Just a few weeks later, another big injury caused by a crash into the boards against the Dallas Stars, derailed his efforts to make an impression even further.
One thing is clear, Kravtsov has been a model citizen throughout and simply put in the work to earn his chance to get back in the lineup.
“He’s playing well and making some plays,” Gerard Gallant commented. “Just continue to move forward. He’s getting the opportunity.”
Kravtsov signed a one-year deal this past summer and will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in July. He has a total of 5 points (2G -3A) in 21 games on the year.
Brennan Othmann impresses at WJC
Jed Ortmeyer, who is a former Ranger and the current Director of Player Development, paid very close attention to all the prospects at the recent World Junior Championships from December to January.
A lot of focus was placed on 2021 first-round pick Brennan Othmann as he captured back-to-back Gold Medals with Team Canada.
“He shows up every game with big hits, getting in on the forecheck, and being hard to play against and getting under the other team’s skin,” Ortmeyer said via the Rangers website. “You can also see that Othmann is a more complete player in this tournament than he was in the summer. I think that’s why his line has had success, because he’s been a driving force on that line regardless if he’s getting points on the scoresheet. He’s playing a more detailed, hard game that we’ve come to expect from him.”
Othmann recorded two assists in the final game as Canada beat Czechia in OT by a 3-2 score. He concluded the tournament with two goals and four assists in 7 games.
The young star in the making will return to OHL action looking to build on his 35 points in 26 games split between the Flint Firebirds and the Peterborough Petes this season.
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