Vitali Kravtsov still unsure of where he fits on New York Rangers lineup and addresses trade rumors

The New York Rangers 2018 first round pick has been cold as of late for Traktor in the KHL. Vitali Kravtsov has not scored a point in his last 5 games or a goal in his last 9 contests. However, he continues to do all the little things right in all three zones.

Vitali Kravtsov clears up confusion about his loan to Traktor

In a feature on Traktor’s website, Vitali Kravtsov made it clear that the agreement was for him to play the entire season in the KHL. “I knew about it for a long time,” Kravtsov explained. “The [Rangers] and I had an agreement that I would spend the whole season in Chelyabinsk.”

The decision was made soon after the Rangers were eliminated by the Hurricanes. “We all came to the conclusion that I needed to play now,” he said. Which makes a lot of sense considering the uncertainty regarding the 2020-21 season at the moment.

Vitali Kravtsov on trade rumors and making the Rangers

vitali kravtsov rangers
Kravtsov (Traktor photo)

During the interview, Vitali was asked about hearing his name in trade rumors and possibly going to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 20 year-old winger responded that he had nothing to say about those rumors.

The follow up asked very directly if Vitali Kravtsov sees a future with the Rangers. “I haven’t even spoken to my agent for a while,” he began. “Now is probably not the time to think about it. I have a contract with Traktor until the end of the season.”

Kravtsov noted that he will look closer at it when his season ends. He was also realistic about the current Rangers roster right now. “Count how many players they have at my position. There’s plenty to chose from. Right now there’s no place on paper for me.”

Rangers very high on Kravtsov

The Rangers love Vitali’s size and skill set. When he returned to the Wolf Pack last season after using his European out clause, head coach Kris Knoblauch praised his work ethic and drive to be better.

Assistant GM, Chris Drury spoke about Vitali Kravtsov recently and in particular his time in the bubble and his hot KHL start. “It was really encouraging to see another guy in the bubble that we got to spend a lot of time with in Hartford,” Drury began.

Most importantly, Drury stressed how important it was for the Rangers staff and players to get to know him. It also helped Kravtsov to see what it takes to make it in the NHL and to see how much harder it is versus the AHL and KHL.

Drury then went into Kravtsov’s play in the KHL and noted his high level talent. “That’s why we took him where we did in the draft and he’s off to a great start.”

Sounds like a future on Broadway to me.

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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