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2022 New York Rangers Offseason Vitali Kravtsov

Where could Vitali Kravtsov fit for the Rangers this season?

As expected, Vitali Kravtsov has returned to New York to get a “head start” in preparing for training camp. (Walker, The Athletic)

Kravtsov left the Rangers and returned to Russia instead of accepting an assignment to Hartford at the start of the season.

He signed a one-year deal in June that is worth $875,000.


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After the Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs, Chris Drury said that the team has never “wavered” from their belief that Kravtsov is an “all-world talent” that can do “a lot of things on the ice that” other players can’t. (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: I am surprised that it got to this point and that Kravtsov is still with the team. They could have traded him after he refused to go to Hartford, they could have traded him at the deadline as they were upgrading the team and he could have gone at the draft. But he’s still here and while it’s certainly possible he could still be moved, at this point it would seem like the Rangers and Kravtsov are going to give another shot at making it work. His cap hit for this year is cheap and that is important for the Rangers and there will be a spot in the top-nine for him.

My guess is that the Rangers are going to start training camp with him and Kaapo Kakko in the top-six on the right side and Sammy Blais taking the right side on the third line. If the Rangers commit to Alexis Lafreniere switching to the right side, so he can play in the top-six, then Kakko and Kravtsov will battle for the other spot. It’s also possible that Kravtsov and Blais get the top-six slots and they reunite The Kid Line.

He’s going to get a chance to show that he has been worth all the headaches over the last couple of years and that the Rangers were right to hold on to him. Getting to New York early is a good start, but his play will ultimately determine his spot in the lineup and his future with the team. There is a path to him being a Ranger long-term and there is a path to him playing well enough to build up his value for a trade. I can see him having a nice role in the top-nine and maybe on the second PP unit and I can also see him being someone that the Rangers move to upgrade his spot at the deadline.