The New York Rangers are primed for a legitimate Stanley Cup run, but it appears as though their malcontent prospect will not be joining them. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that instead of joining the Rangers for the playoff run, Vitali Kravtsov will begin his offseason training regimen in Russia, with the plan of arriving in New York well ahead of training camp.
Kravtsov, who requested a trade and basically forced his way back to the KHL for this entire season rather than play in the minor leagues, was eliminated from the KHL playoffs this week when Traktor Chelyabinsk fell to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. The 22-year-old forward is a restricted free agent this summer and would need a new contract if he’s to play in New York next season.
- Earlier this month, both Lucas Wallmark and Joakim Nordstrom terminated their contracts in the KHL because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Their agent, Claes Elefalk, told SVT Sport that the two left “substantial amounts” on the table by terminating contracts that would have originally kept them in Russia until May 2023. The pair of Swedes are obviously well known to NHL fans, who watched Wallmark play nearly 200 games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks, and Nordstrom play nearly 500 with the Blackhawks, Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, and Calgary Flames, before leaving for the KHL last summer. Both are now unrestricted free agents.
- Though he was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Macklin Celebrini ended up being drafted first overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the most recent WHL U.S. Prospect Draft, after playing parts of two seasons at the powerhouse Shattuck St. Mary’s prep academy in Minnesota. Celebrini put up incredible numbers this year for the program, scoring 50 goals and 117 points in just 52 games. Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds, it appears as though that pick was wasted (at least for now). Celebrini–a top prospect for the 2024 draft–has signed a tender agreement with the Chicago Steel of the USHL for the 2022-23 season. He will take the place of Chicago’s first-round pick in next month’s USHL draft, and will continue his development at another powerhouse program with the Steel.