With their first selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, the New York Rangers have selected Vitali Kravtsov with the ninth overall pick.
Our very own Alex and Tobias did an excellent job of outlining Kravtsov’s skill set and have characterized him as a difficult player to handle in transition. To view the full draft profile on Kravtsov, click here.
Russian winger Kravtsov uses size, soft hands and strong wheels to contribute offense in a variety of ways. He’s a difficult guy to handle in transition, capable of aggressively dangling opposing defensemen one-on-one or setting-up team-mates at speed. Although perhaps not the most dynamic on his skates, Kravtsov gets around the ice well and certainly has no trouble finding openings to exploit. He knows how to score and buries chances with a quick-release wrister.
Vitali Kravtsov is the prototypical Russian off-side power winger. He’s a strong skater who can both challenge D-men on the outside and slow the game down if needed. He’s got an excellent shot and his puck handling is very good. He’s definitely more of a sniper then a playmaker. Kravtsov is a good defensive player given his age and role, he’s far from the “lazy Russian.” He works hard defensively and he’s not inept at it.
Assuming nothing crazy happens via trade for remainder of the first round, the New York Rangers will have two more selections remaining at 26th and 28th overall.