New York Rangers don’t wait long to begin working towards 2022 season

Jun 11, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; the Tampa Bay Lightning shake hands with New York Rangers after the Lightning victory in game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

General Manager Chris Drury has begun working on the team’s off-season agenda with some early signings with a challenging Free agent signing period that starts after the SCF.

The New York Rangers didn’t clear out their lockers yet but that hasn’t stopped General Manager Chris Drury from beginning his off-season improvements for next season and beyond.

Contract Signings

The Rangers announced the signings of both Vitali Kravtsov and Gustav Rydahl to one-year contracts respectively on Monday morning.

Kravtsov, 22, skated in 19 games with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2021-22, recording six goals and seven assists for 13 points. In the playoffs, Kravtsov notched seven goals and three assists for 10 points in 15 games. He ranked tied for seventh among KHL skaters in playoff goals.
In 2020-21, Kravtsov skated in 20 games for the Rangers, recording two goals and two assists for four points. In 2019-20, Kravtsov made his North American debut with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), recording 15 points (6G-9A) in 39 games.

The Vladivostok, Russia native has played in parts of six seasons with Traktor in the KHL, registering 68 points (36G-32A) in 167 games. The 6-3, 193-pound forward won the 2017-18 “Aleksei Cherepanov (Best Rookie) Award” in the KHL after posting seven points (4G-3A) in 35 regular-season games. In 2018-19,

Kravtsov was named to the KHL All-Star team in a season that saw him tally eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 50 games. Kravtsov was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round, ninth overall, of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Rydahl, 27, skated in 44 regular-season games with Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in 2021-22, registering 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points and a plus-6 rating. On Färjestad BK, Rydahl ranked third in goals, fifth in points, and seventh in assists. His plus-6 rating was tied for the fourth-highest on the club. On his way to winning the 2022 SHL championship, Rydahl posted six goals and six assists for 12 points and a plus-9 rating in 19 playoff games.

The Karlstad, Sweden native has played parts of 10 seasons in the SHL, split between Frölunda HC, Växjö Lakers HC, Luleå HF and Färjestad BK, where he has tallied 108 points (64G-44A) and a plus-20 rating in 371 games. Rydahl collected SHL career-highs in goals (19), assists (16), and points (35) in 2019-20 with Färjestad BK. That season, the assistant captain, ranked first on the team in goals, third in points, and tied for fifth in assists.

Internationally, the 6-3, 201-pound forward has represented Sweden at multiple levels, including the 2022 Olympic Games.

Free Agency

The New York Rangers have a laundry list of UFA’s and RFA’s to evaluate prior to the beginning of free agency.

Per Cap Friendly,

The Rangers enter the off-season with four draft picks (2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th) and $13,458,531 in projected cap space, with a projected roster of 14 (8F-5D-1G).

UFAs include
Copp
Strome
Vatrano
Mckegg
Motte
Rooney
Braun

RFAs include
Kakko
Gauthier
Georgiev
Blais

Follow Frank Curto on Twitter at @RangerProud