New York Rangers: What Kravtsov’s KHL stats say about NHL future

Vitali Kravtsov posesafter being selected ninth overall by the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Vitali Kravtsov posesafter being selected ninth overall by the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers selected Russian winger Vitali Kravtsov ninth overall in the NHL Draft. Let’s take a look at what his stats say about his NHL future.

When the New York Rangers drafted Vitali Kravtsov, the fan base had mixed reactions. While a large majority were expecting the team to select American wing Oliver Wahlstrom, the team went in another direction, one that worried some people for a few reasons.

One reason was the fear that the young Russian “would never come over,” which is something that Rangers fans will eventually laugh at when they look back to the 2018 Draft like Philadelphia 76ers fans do when the topic of Dario Saric comes up.

The other concern that many had with the selection were Kravtsov’s KHL numbers from last season. In 35 games, Kravtsov only tallied seven points. With a point total that minuscule, it makes you really wonder how he could get drafted in the top 10 above a guy in Wahlstrom who notched 48 goals for the U.S. U18 team last season in 62 games. Or should it?

Do Kravtsov’s seven regular season points paint a bleak picture around his selection? And what do his playoff numbers from last season say about his future?

For this exercise, we will be using two models similar to ones used by Rob Vollman of Stat Shot and the Hockey Abstract.

The first model we will look at is a points translator. This formula does not take age into account. It is just a straightforward look at what a point total is worth in terms of NHL points. The second formula is a projection of how a player will perform around the prime of his career, so age is a factor there.

Also, note that, for both models, Kravtsov’s playoff numbers will receive a 20 percent boost.

Point Translator

Season TypeAgeGames PlayedPointsPoints/70EQ Points
Regular1835713.6 11.3
Playoffs18161148.1 46.4

To come up with the above numbers, we took Kratsov’s points per game (.2) and multiplied that by 70. Once we had that product, we multiplied that by Vollman’s KHL quality bonus (.804) and got the EQ point total (the total that equates to NHL points) of 11.3 points per 70 games.

Do the same equation for the playoffs and add 20 percent of that total to the sum. All of that means that Kravtsov’s 11 points in 16 playoff games is the equivalent to scoring 46.4 regular season NHL points.

I am fairly confident that if Kravtsov tallied 46 points in his rookie season with the Rangers, we’d all be very pleased.


Season TypeAgeGames PlayedPointsPoints/70EQ Points
KHL Regular183571421.5
KHL Playoffs18161148.188.7

So this formula is a bit more complicated.

Once you have his per 70 point total, you multiply that number by Vollman’s age multiplier for an 18-year-old (.84).

In Stat Shot, Vollman doesn’t have a projectionator multiplier for KHL players. Based on his translation factor for the point translator and his quality factors for the projectionator, I have placed the KHL’s multiplier for this activity at 1.83. So once you multiply the 1.83 to your total, Kravtsov’s regular season EQ point total comes out to 21.5.

When you do the same formula for his playoff performance, you come up with an EQ points total of 74 points. Once you add the 20 percent multiplier for playoff points, Kratsov’s total comes out to about 89 points. Not too bad, huh?

Final Thoughts

So in both exercises, Kravtsov’s regular season numbers appear very low while his playoff numbers appear to be quite good. This is because, for both equations, we had extremely small sample sizes to work with. Since this is the case, we really can’t gain too much of an understanding as to Kravtsov ‘s future NHL output just yet.

With that said, it should be noted that Kravtsov received an average ice-time of 9:19 in the regular season, which negatively affected his EQ points in both formulas.

His average ice-time in the playoffs was relatively low as well, as he only played 13:12 a game in the postseason. To score the way he did in such limited amounts of playoff ice time also probably bodes well for him in the future.

Next: Lias Andersson should not be rushed to the NHL

Of course the Rangers won’t know what they actually have in Kravtsov for a few years. Doing this exercise again at the end of the 2018-19 KHL season will give you a better understanding of what to expect in the future, since there will be a bigger body of work to back it up.