The Rangers are in agreement on contracts with top prospects Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shestyorkin on entry-level contracts, reports Rick Carpinello of The Athletic (subscription required). The deals will not be officially registered until their KHL contracts officially expire at the end of the month.
Kravtsov was New York’s first-round pick (ninth overall) back in June and played a regular role with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL this season, collecting 21 points in 50 regular season games plus a pair of helpers in four postseason contests. The Rangers wanted to sign him back in March once his KHL playoffs came to an end but his team was not willing to release him from his contract early.
It’s believed that Kravtsov is close to being ready to step into the NHL lineup and could eventually provide their top six group with some size and scoring punch. However, if the Rangers opt to aggressively add in free agency, it’s certainly possible that they could decide he’s better served to start in the minors. His entry-level deal will be a three-year pact.
As for Shestyorkin, he’s someone that New York has been waiting on for a while. He was a fourth-round pick (118th overall) but has emerged as one of the top goalies outside of the NHL since then. This season, he posted a 1.11 GAA and a .953 SV% in 28 games with SKA St. Petersburg, the top numbers in the league in both categories.
The 23-year-old shouldn’t need too much seasoning in the AHL short of adapting to the shorter ice surface so the Rangers will soon be facing a good question of what to do with their goalie depth. Henrik Lundqvist has two years left on his deal with a no-move clause that he hasn’t been willing to waive while Alexandar Georgiev had a strong sophomore season in North America and has likely boosted his trade value in the process. It’s certainly possible that Shestyorkin’s agreement on a contract (which will be two years in length) will force the team to move on from Georgiev before too long but having quality young goaltending depth is something that GM Jeff Gorton certainly won’t be complaining about.