New York Rangers prospect Vitaly Kravtsov has been demoted to the VHL by the KHL’s Chelyabinsk Traktor, their minor league affiliate, the team announced (Twitter link, translation required). Kravtsov has struggled significantly this season as he started the season with the Rangers with many expecting him to win a roster spot out of training camp.
Instead, he was sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL where he had just one assist in five games and struggled to gain playing time. He opted to enact his European Assignment Clause and returned to Chelyabinsk Traktor team in the KHL with which he played 50 games last season as a 18-year-old. However, Kravtsov has struggled there as well, scoring just two goals in 11 games.
Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko reports that Traktor isn’t actively trying to trade Kravtsov’s rights, but they are willing to listen to offers for the 19-year-old.
- Eronko also reports that former NHL head coach Bob Hartley is closing in on signing a two-year extension with Omsk Avangard in the KHL. Hartley has his team currently in second place in the Eastern division with 18 wins and 50 points in 37 games. Avangard hired Hartley, a head coach with the Colorado Avalanche, Atlanta Thrashers and the Calgary Flames, back in May of 2018.
- The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford reports that the injuries in St. Louis continue to mount as St. Louis Blues forward Zach Sanford didn’t skate Sunday and is doubtful to play on Tuesday. Alex Steen and Oskar Sundqvist are both expected to join the Blues for their trip to Buffalo, but neither is expected to play, which means the team will be forced to recall a player from the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL before then.
- Ryan Pike of FlamesNation reports that Calgary Flames prospect and 2019 first-round pick Jakob Pelletier is expected to miss the World Junior Championships after the 18-year-old suffered a lower-body injury Thursday in his QMJHL game. Pelletier, who is having a dominant season with the Moncton Wildcats, was invited to Canada’s World Junior selection camp, and while the injury isn’t considered to be serious, it will be enough to keep him out of next week’s camp, which means he cannot make the team.