New York Rangers: Vitali Kravtsov scores again

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Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New  York Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov scored his third goal in five games in the KHL

Vitali Kravtsov continued his torrid pace in the KHL,  scoring his third goal in five games as Traktor Chelyabinsk defeated Spartak Moscow 2-1 Tuesday night in Moscow.   The New York Rangers first round pick in the 2018 draft opened the scoring with an even strength goal at 9:34 of the first period.  He was also on the ice for the second and winning Traktor goal scored by Nick Bailen in second period.

Unlike his first two goals scored on rebounds, this was a snapshot after Lukas Sedlak stole the puck and fed Kravtsov in the slot.

Kravtsov finished with two shots on goal and played 19 shifts for a total of 16:09 minutes.  He had one hit and blocked one shot and finished with a plus/minus of +2.

The win improved Traktors record to 2-2-1, good for fourth place in the Kharlamov Division.  Kravstov is tied for the team lead in goals and points with three.  He is tops on Traktor with 23 shots on goal and he is averaging 15:32 TOI.    He is the only player on the team with more than one even strength goal.

Kravtsov’s 23 shots on goal  is third in the KHL and he is averaging 4.6 shots on goal per game. To compare, Mika Zibanejad led the Rangers this season, averaging 3.65 shots per game.  Kravtsov’s shooting stats must be making David Quinn very happy.

Kravtsov’s excellent start will make it more difficult for the Rangers when the NHL season is ready to start.  While he is on loan to Traktor and can be recalled any time, it would be foolish to bring him back unless he is definitely going to play in New York next season.

The KHL regular season will end on February 21 with the playoffs extending possibly another two months.  The NHL season is due to start on December 1, but could be delayed depending on the pandemic and that could be a perfect scenario for Kravtsov and the Rangers.  Traktor making the playoffs is a question meaning he could be ready to come back less than two months into the new NHL season.

Five games is a small sample size, but so far, it looks like the Rangers’ star prospect has returned to the form he displayed in his draft year.   Quinn would be smart to talk to Traktor coach Anvar Gatiyatulin who has gotten the best out of the 20 year old Kravtsov.

Kravtsov’s next game will be Thursday when Traktor hosts Vityaz.



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