Exploring a deal for Vitali Kravtsov


UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – APRIL 11: Vitali Kravtsov # 74 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders on April 11, 2021 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

Carolina has named her 23-man squad for the season ahead of Thursday night’s game against the New York Islanders. But could there be a change by then? According to Elliotte Friedman, the New York Rangers have given one of their critically acclaimed youngsters Vitali Kravtsov permission to speak to other teams looking for a new home.

It’s no secret that Raleigh has long been home to some reclamation projects. Even this season we’ve seen some players wanting to rebuild their careers based on events that weren’t that popular in their old market. Let’s look at this with that in mind. Even if it doesn’t work out, could the Hurricanes trade for Kravtsov?

Kravtsov, a former 9th overall winner, was a young star in the Continental Hockey League for many years. He made his debut in the KHL at the age of only 16 and scored 30 goals and 25 assists for 55 points with the team in 4 years. This may not seem like an incredible amount, but keep in mind that he was just a kid and bounced around leagues in Russia for a while. However, it was his last season in Russia that caught the attention of the NHL.

In the 2020/21 KHL season, Kravtsov scored 16 goals and 8 assists for 24 points in 42 games. This is from a 20 year old trying to influence the team to impress his NHL team. Things could have been a lot worse for the young Russian striker before he moved over. Unfortunately, Kravtsov moved over when the world was closed and never really made the impact he would have liked with the Rangers.

In the NHL, Kravtsov has 20 games under his belt and all that last season. In those 20 games he only scored 2 goals and 2 helped for 4 total points. The Rangers would not have expected that from a former 9th place overall. Its advantage simply wasn’t met with the same explosive star power that the Rangers had hoped for.

If Kravtsov has been given permission to go for a trade, Carolina should try to acquire that player. He is only 22 years old and a change of scenery and a new system could help this player a lot in living up to the expectations placed on him when he was drafted. It might also be more advantageous for the player to be in a more stable situation with regard to the caliber of the players he is with. Carolina’s pool of prospects is one of the best every year.

If you can trade Kravtsov for someone who is struggling to influence the canes list, the Hurricanes could do it for a long time. Kravtsov has shown that he has the awareness and know-how to hit the big leagues, but he struggled to get it all together. If he can do that, he’ll be a great player in this league for sure.


About Mike Crayton

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