Vitali Kravtsov is leaving Hartford to go back to Russia to play for Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL. Whatever the reason, that’s where he wants to be. So, he will spend the remainder of the season playing for a team he’s familiar with.
Predictably, there’s been some overreaction to Kravtsov deciding he’d rather develop back home than with the first place Wolf Pack of the AHL. His friends Igor Shesterkin and Yegor Rykov are staying. However, he’s younger. Selected by the Rangers with the ninth pick in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft, he doesn’t turn 20 until December 23. That’s right before Christmas.
As much as I would’ve preferred him to stay in Hartford to learn the North American style of hockey, I’m okay with it. The Rangers have a clause where they can recall Kravtsov at any time. Considering that he didn’t get off to a good start with one assist in five games with the Pack, I don’t expect to see him for a while. He wasn’t going to be here anyway.
I guess I’m not freaking out over this development like some. Maybe it’s because I understand that there isn’t a role for Kravtsov with the Rangers at the moment. Had he impressed with the Pack, who knows? It was unrealistic to expect him to start fast in a league he was unfamiliar with. Filip Chytil has eight points so far because he’s a year older and spent a season there.
That’s perspective. As long as Kravtsov performs well and matures back home with his KHL team, great. He can return this season. I wouldn’t expect him until after the trade deadline. Maybe mid March when Traktor’s season ends. By then, the roster should look different.
This was supposed to happen. There had been rumors earlier this month that Kravtsov would wind up back in the KHL. I’ll give credit to the guys at Forever Blueshirts for initially breaking this story. They have some reliable people over there who are in tune with what’s going on in Europe.
Unlike other Rangers blogs, they aren’t all fluff. Give them a follow on Twitter @4EverBlueshirts.
That will do it for now. Here’s hoping it all works out for Kravtsov and the Blueshirts.