New York Rangers fans learned more than a week ago that prospect Vitali Kravtsov would be loaned to his former team, Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL this coming season. However, a small wrinkle developed since as Traktor announced the transaction this morning, revealing that Kravtsov was going to spend the entire season with their team.
That was contrary to general beliefs that the 20-year-old Russian would spend time in North America with a chance to win a roster spot with the Rangers in 2020-21. Up until now, most teams are loaning their prospects overseas with the ability to recall them for NHL training camps whenever that will be. That may not be the case here, although a recent report from USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano suggests that the Rangers can recall him at any time. However, the scribe adds that the team could very conceivably leave him in Russia for the entire KHL season, although the team will likely wait to see how he fares.
Kravtsov, who had a tumultuous first pro season in which he split time between the AHL, KHL, VHL and then back to the KHL, isn’t expected to automatically win a spot on the Rangers roster and with the AHL season being pushed back until December, it makes lots of sense to allow him to develop for a full season in the KHL to develop his skills. Whether New York will recall him for training camp in November or December isn’t clear, but it should be noted that unless Traktor makes the playoffs, he could be available to join the Rangers in late February or after his team is eliminated in the playoffs, which means he could be available to join the Rangers with plenty of season left in the NHL.
- NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti reports that Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov, who suffered what looked to be a severe ankle sprain during the team’s series against the Boston Bruins, said he’s feeling 100 percent and believes that he would be able to play now for the Hurricanes had the team managed to get past Boston in the first round. Svechnikov was a key component to the team’s success with four goals and seven points in six playoff games before being injured in Game 3. The Hurricanes lost consecutive one-goal games in Games 4 & 5, suggesting his play could have made the difference in the series.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh for Game 4 in a key game against the Boston Bruins, according to The Athletic’s Joe Smith. McDonagh, who has been out since suffering an undisclosed injury in Game 1, will be replaced once again with two defensemen as the team is expected to play Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn as the team will go with seven defensemen for a second straight game.