The New York Rangers released a prospect report on Monday detailing how their top prospects have been playing in different leagues overseas.
The Rangers have loaned some of their players so that they can get back on the ice as the club waits for the NHL to announce when the 2020-2021 season can begin. Reports have varied from the beginning of December or Jan. 1, which would be the Winter Classic.
Three of the player on loan are former first-round picks of the Rangers. The club is anticipating the extra games will help them continue to improve. The most likely player to be called back to the team once the league announces when next season would be Vitali Kravtsov who spent time in the AHL and KHL last season.
Vitali Kravtsov – KHL- Traktor: Tallied a power-play goal, tied for the game-high with five shots on goal, and was credited with three hits on Sept. 13 against Lokomotiv. In addition, he tied for the game-high with five shots on goal and was on the ice for both of Traktor’s goals on Sept. 8 against Sochi. The Rangers’ first-round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded two goals/points and 21 shots on goal through the first four games of the 2020-21 KHL regular season. Kravtsov has recorded five or more shots on goal in each of Traktor’s four games thus far this season, and he has either led all skaters in shots on goal or has tied for the game-high in shots on goal in three of the four contests. Kravtsov has also been on the ice for four of Traktor’s seven goals in 2020-21, including each of the team’s three goals over two games during the past week. In addition, among the players who rank 10th or higher in the KHL in shots on goal per game through the first two weeks in 2020-21, Kravtsov is the only player who is averaging less than 16:00 of ice time per game (15:50).
Kravtsov was with the team during Phase 3 and was on the roster when the Rangers were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Qualifying Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Assistant general manager Chris Drury was happy with what he saw of the Russian during his time with the club when they were in Toronto.
“I think he saw a lot, learned a lot, and he looked at it, I think, as an opportunity to grow as a person and a player and to learn more about the Rangers and what we’re trying to accomplish as a team and trying to get him to accomplish as a player. I think everything progressed nicely, and once the league starts back up again, we’re looking forward to getting him back here.”
Lias Andersson: The 21-year-old skated in his seventh SHL pre-season game of the year with HV71 on Sept. 8 against Vaxjo; HV71 begins the 2020-21 regular season on Sept. 19 against Frolunda. The Rangers’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered five goals in seven pre-season games this year with HV71, and he has recorded at least one goal in four of the seven contests.
Nils Lundkvist: Skated in a pre-season game with Lulea on Sept. 9 against Skelleftea; Lulea begins the 2020-21 SHL regular season on Sept. 19 against Farjestad. The Rangers’ first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft recorded 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) and a plus-18 rating in 45 SHL games with Lulea last season. Lundkvist’s 31 points and 20 assists in 2019-20 were each the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history, and his 11 goals were tied for the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history. His 31 points, 20 assists, and plus-18 rating were each the best by an SHL player in his U20 season or younger (regardless of position) last season.
Yegor Rykov: Tallied an assist/point in each of CSKA Moscow’s final two games during the week (Sept. 10 against Sibir and Sept. 12 against Amur). On Sept. 10 against Amur, he logged 18:19 of ice time (third-most among team defensemen), including 4:47 of ice time considered time on attack (most among any player on both teams), in addition to tallying an assist. Rykov has registered two assists and a plus-two rating through five KHL games with CSKA Moscow in 2020-21.
Lauri Pajuniemi: Skated in a pre-season game with TPS on Sept. 11 against Ilves (TPS’ regular-season schedule begins on Oct. 2). The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft registered 40 points (26 goals, 14 assists) in 49 games with TPS in Liiga last season. Pajuniemi led all players who were in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in goals and tied for first among players who were in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in points in 2019-20.