Vitali Kravtsov officially loaned to Traktor; says he want to play for New York Rangers

vitali kravtsov
May 5, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Vitek Vanecek #41 of the Washington Capitals blocks the net against Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury officially announced today that forward Vitali Kravtsov has been loaned to his former KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk.

Sports24 in Russia made the initial report indicating that a loan was agreed to and that Traktor and Kravtsov were working on a contract.

Forever Blueshirts confirmed yesterday after speaking with a KHL team executive that this was indeed done.

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New York Rangers loan Vitali Kravtsov to KHL team

“After discussions with Vitali and his representation, we decided a loan to Traktor was in the best interests of both him and the organization,” Drury said in a statement. “We think very highly of Vitali and the Rangers development staff will continue to work with him to reach our mutual goal of him some day being a New York Ranger.”

Kravtsov, 21, was selected by the New York Rangers 9th overall in the 2018 Draft. He has played in 20 NHL contests and registered 4 points.

The native of Vladivostok, Russia played five seasons with Traktor and posted 55 points in 148 games. His KHL accolades includes winning the KHL’s equivalent of the Rookie of the Year Award in 2017-18 and making the KHL All-Star team in 2018-19.

Kravtsov says he wants to play for the Rangers

vitali kravtsov
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The circumstances for Kravtsov refusing to report to the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford are well documented. After not making the team out of training camp, he bolted back to Russia and requested a trade.

Additional reports came out that revealed a lack of trust between Kravtsov and GM Chris Drury. This dates back to 2019 when Vitali used his European out clause to exit Hartford and Drury called him a quitter.

Apparently, both sides are playing nice in the sandbox with Kravtsov releasing a statement as well.

 “I want to thank the Rangers for working with me, and appreciate the open and honest conversations we have had during this process,” he 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.”

Is there a chance for him to return and play for the Rangers? Per a source I’ve been in contact with over the matter, it’s unlikely.

Expect a trade later this season or at the draft.

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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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