Vitali Kravtsov won the KHL Rookie of the Year Award thanks to his brilliant performance in the playoffs, but he hasn’t let that or being selected 9th overall by the Rangers in the 2018 NHL Draft get to his head.
In a recent interview Kravtsov showed a great deal of humility when he was asked about winning the Alexei Cherepanov Award.
Yes, it’s great and very prestigious, but I think that mostly I didn’t deserve the award. I played well in the playoffs, but Eeli Tolvanen played great for the whole season. I was the chosen one, but if someone rethinks it, I can return the prize. I can even ask Eeli when we’ll meet if he wants the trophy. If he says so, I will give it to him.
It sounds like Gordie Clark might have been on to something when he was boasting about Kravtsov’s character in Dallas after the draft. Seriously though, what is it with Rangers prospects who want to give away awards and medals that they’ve received?
Clark has also described Kravtsov as a “very, very intellectual kid” — so it isn’t much of a surprise that he recognizes the fact that Tolvanen had the more impressive rookie campaign last year.
Kravtsov had seven points in 35 regular season games before exploding with 11 points in 16 games in the playoffs. Tolvanen, the Nashville Predators’ top prospect, had 19 goals and 17 assists in 49 regular season games for Jokerit. He also scored six goals in 11 postseason games, which was equal to the number that Kravtsov scored in his 16 postseason appearances. Yegor Sharangovich, a Belarusian prospect drafted by the Devils, was the only other player under 20 who reached the double digits in points in the KHL last season.
In that same interview Kravstov also commented on some rumors that surfaced about him joining the NHL this year. He also mentioned that he is waiting to figure out his next step after this season. For those who weren’t aware, the KHL preseason is already underway.
There were many rumors, but only a few people know the whole truth. My parents and a couple of persons more. I don’t want to think about it now, I’m happy here, I signed a one-year contract, and we’ll see what happens next. After this season I will take a serious decision.
This is hardly news, but it is a fun story that tells us quite a bit about Kravtsov’s character. It sounds like he has a pretty good head on his shoulders for an 18 year old kid. You can read more about the Rangers’ top Russian prospect in this interview published on the KHL’s league site.