Vitali Kravtsov To Remain in KHL for 2018-19 Season

Rangers’ top prospect from 2018 draft to finish out KHL contract.

Vitali Kravtsov is remaining with Traktor Chelyabinsk for the upcoming season. The news was released on the team’s website and featured a quote (via Google Translate) from the New York Rangers’ 2018 first rounder.

I stay in Russia, I stay in the “Traktor”. This season in the native team will help me grow professionally. In turn, I will try to make for “Traktor” a lot of useful and more please the fans.

The translation is broken, but basically he wants to use this year to develop professionally, be a useful player and one who makes the fans happy. Kravtsov isn’t the only Ranger prospect who will be in the KHL this year, and the franchise could have reinforcements on the way in early 2019.

As Alex points out, the Rangers have three players with KHL deals expiring, and their regular season ends on February 22. This doesn’t include potential Gagarin Cup playoff games, but we don’t even know how the Rangers will be playing at that point of the season.

Overall this move isn’t a total shock, and I would imagine there was a lot of dialogue between Kravtsov and the Rangers. There’s always the chance that Traktor doesn’t make the playoffs and he’s Hartford bound at the beginning of March, but for now we will just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on this move? Would you have preferred Kravtsov start the year in Hartford, or are you fine with him remaining in the KHL?

Where did you want Vitali Kravtsov to play this season?

Traktor - KHL702
Hartford - AHL635
Rangers - NHL256