The New York Rangers are loaning Vitali Kravtsov to Traktor for the 2020-21 season, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Rangers are loaning Kravtsov to KHL Traktor for 20-21, Post has learned. Will play for coach Gitiatulin, same coach as he had in draft year.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) August 21, 2020
Decision to assign Kravtsov to KHL a collaborative effort with his agent.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) August 21, 2020
This move makes sense, because the KHL will be starting up in less than two weeks whereas AHL and NHL hockey will not be getting underway until December, although given what we’ve seen with Coronavirus in MLB, there’s no telling if the start of the season could be pushed back even further.
This loan gives Kravtsov a chance to stay active and play, and while not explicitly stated, I would assume there will be some provision that allows Kravtsov to return once things are up and running in North America.
Rangers have right to recall Kravtsov when NHL gets under way.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) August 21, 2020
His situation is not a unique one, as Nils Lundkvist also opted to remain in the SHL for another year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other top prospects around the league decide to play overseas at least to begin the 2020-21 campaign.