Vitali Kravtsov is returning to the KHL

Vitali Kravtsov is exercising the European Assignment clause in his contract and signing a contract with his former KHL team Traktor Chelyabinsk, according to Larry Brooks.

Kravtsov’s European Assignment clause became active today and is only part of his contract for this season.

Kravtsov, despite not turning 20 until December 23, is considered to be 20-years old and thus his entry-level contract can not slide.





The Rangers could recall Kravtsov at any point this season to return to the NHL. (Brooks)

In the AHL this season Kravtsov had one assist, a minus two rating and two shots on goal in five games. Larry Brooks notes that Kravtsov was scratched in one game for the Wolf Pack and benched for stretches it two other games.

While with the Wolf Pack Kravtsov skated mostly with Matt Beleskey at LW and either Boo Nieves or Danny O’Regan at center.

Brooks adds that the Rangers worked with Kravtsov’s agent during this process and did not want an “adversarial” relationship to develop.

Adam Rotter: In the long run this is likely, hopefully, only a blip in what will be a long and productive career for Kravtsov and the Rangers. It’s not ideal that he is returning to the KHL, bigger ice and less of an NHL style game, but I’d bet he returns when the KHL season ends and plays in 10-15 games for the Rangers.

The Rangers view Kravtsov as a huge part of this rebuild/build and were not going to force him to be unhappy in Hartford when he has this clause in his contract. He negotiated to have this right for one-year in his contract and is taking advantage of it. There isn’t a great history of teenagers coming directly from the KHL to the NHL with most Russian teenagers in the KHL coming from the CHL and playing in North America.

Traktor’s last regular season game is 2/20 so Kravtsov will be back with the Rangers probably somewhere around the trade deadline.