New York Rangers could recall Vitali Kravtsov from the KHL by next week

Frank Curto
Vitali Kravtsov skating at the New York Rangers summer camp 2019. Photo courtesy of NHL.com

The New York Rangers will have to decide if they want to recall Vitali Kravtsov from the KHL in the next week or so once his team is eliminated from the playoffs.

The Ranger’s 9th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft scored 16 goals along with 24 points in 49 games playing for Traktor. His team will begin a best of seven first-round series against Salavat Yulaev on Wednesday.

Strong Season in the KHL

Kravtsov had a successful season playing for Traktor this season. His accomplishments this season show how far he has grown since last season’s demotion and subsequent departure to the KHL where things went from bad to worse for the then 20-year-old;

  • Tallied the game-tying goal with eight seconds remaining in regulation and led all skaters with 20:26 of ice time in the final game of the regular season on Feb. 27 against Metallurg Magnitogorsk; posted a plus-two rating on Feb. 25 against Torpedo.
  • Established KHL career-highs in several categories, including goals (16), points (24), plus/minus rating (plus-eight), and shots on goal (125).
  • Led Traktor in even-strength goals (13), tied for the team lead in goals, tied for second in shots on goal per game (2.6), and ranked fourth in shots on goal in 2020-21.
  • Tied for 19th in the KHL in even-strength goals this season.
    Among KHL players who were in their U22 season or younger in 2020-21, ranked second in goals, ranked fourth in points, and tied for eighth in plus/minus rating.
  • Has recorded 30 goals in 148 career KHL games, which is tied for the eighth-most by a player while in his U22 season or younger in league history (tied with Artemi Panarin, who registered 30 goals in 158 career KHL games while in his U22 season or younger).
  • Traktor posted a 10-3-2 record in games in which he has tallied a goal and a 15-5-2 record in games in which he notched a point this season.

Traktor begins its playoff series against Salavat Yulaev on Mar. 3
Game 1 – Mar. 3
Game 2 – Mar. 5
Game 3 – Mar. 7
Game 4 – Mar. 9
Game 5* – Mar. 11
Game 6* – Mar. 13
Game 7* – Mar. 15
*If Necessary. (Per NYR PR)

Room to Join

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks wrote on Monday that the Rangers should have the cap space to recall and insert him into the lineup immediately.

“Under his entry-level contract, Kravtsov is in for a cap charge of $925,000 plus an $800,000 bonus package. The Rangers should have enough room in another couple of weeks for Kravtsov as long as injured parties return sooner rather than later and further injuries do not occur that would force the team to keep a bloated roster.”

The Rangers could certainly use his offensive skill with the team struggling to find the back of the net. The club has been playing with Artemi Panarin due to a leave of absence along with an injured Philip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko remaining to be listed on the NHL Covid Protocol list and the missing Mika Zibaeneajd wh has tallied just two goals this season (one was an empty-net goal).