Rangers will keep Vitali Kravtsov in Russia for the entire KHL season

Vitali Kravtsov has taken a great step forward in his pro hockey career. The Rangers 1st round pick in the 2019 Draft is a force for Traktor in the KHL. In 17 games this season, the 20 year-old forward has 8 goals and 11 points.

Rangers to keep Vitali Kravtsov in the KHL

Yesterday, Larry Brooks confirmed what many of us have been speculating about Kravtsov. This speculation was based purely on cap situation as it is expected the Rangers will have at least five to six players with bonus laden ELCs in the lineup.

The Post has confirmed that while the Blueshirts have the contractual right to recall Kravtsov at any time, there is an understanding that the winger will complete the season in Russia before he’d be summoned to North America.

Larry Brooks

Currently, Traktor is one of the better teams in the KHL and are expected to make the playoffs which begin in March. Should they go the absolute distance, we would not see Kravtsov in North America until May 2021.

Vitali Kravtsov a new man

vitali kravtsov rangers
Kravtsov NYR (Getty Images)

According to Gillian Kemmerer, a KHL reporter, Vitali Kravtsov arrived with a renewed work ethic and hunger this season. His attitude change has been so significant that some of his teammates have taken serious notice of it.

“One of Traktor’s players described the change within Kravtsov as a migration from “cute hockey” to a more aggressive, North American game,” Gillian relayed. “Another joked about trading dipsy-doodles for being first in on the forecheck. Beyond his on-ice performance, he is working harder than ever.”

To Gillian’s credit there was some debate about the terms of his loan. However, she was on top of it from the beginning. “The team and league have stated an expectation that he will stay for the season, but it’s also impossible to imagine a scenario in which New York would relinquish their ability to recall him.”

Now we know that while the Rangers can recall Kravtsov, they will opt to let him finish out the KHL season.

NHL News and Notes

Read about the latest on NHL realignment and the state of the Seattle Kraken over at The Daily Goal Horn.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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