A pair of Minnesota Wild forward prospects currently on loan in Russia will go different ways for the rest of the season. Ivan Lodnia, the team’s third-round pick in 2017, will leave the KHL’s Dinamo Minsk to return to North America in time for the Iowa Wild’s AHL camp later this month, reports The Athletic’s Michael Russo. Lodnia is in his first pro season after five years in the OHL and has seven points through 27 KHL games thus far. The skilled American forward is expected to spend the rest of his season in the AHL, but could push for an NHL look late in the year if he impresses with Iowa. Meanwhile, 2018 third-round pick Alexander Khovanov will stay in Russia for the rest of the year. Currently on loan to the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan, who in turn have loaned him to the minor league VHL, Khovanov has 15 points in 16 VHL games after getting blanked though seven KHL games. Also a first-year pro, Khovanov scored 99 points in the QMJHL last year but is not as far along in his development as Lodnia and can take the rest of the year to work on his game in his native Russia.
- As expected, New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has confirmed to the media that prospect forward Vitali Kravtsov will remain in Russia through the end of the KHL season. Kravtsov is currently on loan to his longtime KHL club Traktor Chelyabinsk and he is currently finding success with 12 goals and 17 points in 34 games. Gorton stated that the team felt Kravtsov’s development was better served by letting him play out the KHL season given this success. However, the team will explore bringing Kravtsov back once the KHL season is complete. The 21-year-old Kravtsov, the No. 9 overall pick in 2018, played in 39 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack last season but has yet to make his NHL debut.
- A teammate of Kravtsov’s in Hartford early last year, Lias Andersson also finished the season in Europe. Andersson tells The Los Angeles Times’ Jack Harris that he had planned to spend the entire 2020-21 season back in Sweden with the SHL’s HV71. However, an off-season trade from the New York Rangers to the Los Angeles Kings changed his mind. Andersson now plans to spend the whole season in North America, regardless of his role within his new organization. For what it’s worth, Andersson notched 11 points in 19 games while on loan to HV71 so far this season and personally feels that his game has improved, so perhaps he can finally carve out a regular NHL role with the young Kings squad.