A simple recall of a forward is not usually important news, but for the New York Rangers today, it could reveal more about a different top prospect. The team has recalled Morgan Barron from the Hartford Wolf Pack, moving Kaapo Kakko to injured reserve with an upper-body injury.
Baron’s recall is not really surprising. The 22-year-old has come a long way since being a sixth-round pick in 2017 and was already on the fringe of making the roster out of camp. The 6’4″ forward played five games for the Rangers last season, scoring his first NHL goal. He has two goals in his first two AHL games of this season, continuing to show that he can be a dominant force at that level.
It’s the fact that the spot didn’t go to Vitali Kravtsov that is the headline here, as the disgruntled forward remains in limbo. Refusing an assignment to the AHL, Kravtsov and his representatives have been given permission to seek a trade. Last night on Hockey Night In Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman updated the situation:
I understand the Rangers have asked him ’would you like to go to AHL Hartford and work your way back up?’ Kaapo Kakko got hurt tonight. At this point in time he hasn’t agreed, I don’t know if he will, but the offer is out there for him to return.
Russ Cohen of Sportsology reports that Kravtsov is back in Chelyabinsk and was at the Traktor-Dynamo game today. Cohen adds that he’s been told there are five NHL teams interested.
Meanwhile, Kakko will miss at least seven days after being placed on injured reserve, but no definite timeline has been released for his potential return. Head coach Gerard Gallant called him “day-to-day” after the game, but there has been no update other than the IR placement since.