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Rangers' first rounder continues slide into obscurity

8 décembre 2019
Vitaly Kravtsov's possible NHL career is being quickly derailed in spectacular fashion.

When the 19-year-old forward, who was drafted 9th overall by the New York Rangers in 2018, came into training camp, a spot on the NHL roster seemed like a real possibility. However, as training camp drew to a close, Kravtsov was told that the organization sees him as future top-9 forward and there was simply not enough spots to go around. The Rangers sent him down to Hartford in the NHL so he would have the opportunity to play big minutes.


By the end of October, Kravtsov felt that his development would be better served back in the KHL. He had one assist in five games with the Wolfpack and saw his ice time limited. The Rangers sent him back to HC Traktor Chelyabinsk, which at the time was trying to escape the basement of the Eastern Conference of the KHL. The young winger was expected to inject some life back into his old club's lineup and drum up fan interest in a player many felt bordered on NHL top-line caliber.

A month later, the experiment is deteriorating for Kravtsov. Even with the firing of unpopular coach Peteris Skudra, and the hiring of Vladimir Yurzinov Jr., who has a reputation for giving his skilled players a lot of freedom, Traktor is still dead last in the East with 28 points in 37 games. Kravtsov has contributed just three points in 11 games, with a -4 rating. He has now been sent down to the VHL (Vysshaya Hokkeinaya Liga), Russia's top league whose clubs also serve as farm clubs for Russian KHL teams. He's since registered one point in two games with Chelmet Chelyabinsk.

From NHL training camp with high hopes, all the way down to Russia's version of the AHL in less than two months. This is hockey's version of "hell in a hand basket."

Source: Sport24.ru

UPDATE: Sport Express is reporting that Traktor has shown a willingness to trade Kravtsov, and has received several offers. The team itself is publicly denying trying to trade him.

Source:Sport Express
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