New York Rangers
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New York Rangers first-round draft pick Vitali Kravtsov will work his way up by starting in the KHL next season.

New York Rangers first-round draft pick Vitali Kravtsov, the ninth overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, will remain in the KHL next season.

The news was initially reported by the Chelyabinsk Traktor’s team website,, which said Kravtsov had re-signed with the team and will stay in Russia next season to play with HC Traktor. Though he was already signed to play next season in the KHL, the term “re-sign” was used to make the official announcement of his decision to stay.

HC Traktor general manager Evgeny Gubarev made the announcement for the team, mentioning he felt this was the best opportunity for Kravtsov to improve as a player. The team will worry about Kravtsov’s future when the upcoming season concludes

“I stay in Russia, I stay in the “Tractor.” This season in the native team will help me grow professionally. In turn, I will try to make for “Tractor” a lot of useful and more please the fans.” Kravtsov told the team’s website.

When the Rangers drafted him last month, the question of whether he would buy out the final year of his contract and come to North America or stay in Russia for his final year on his contract was the top priority. This announcement answers that question as HC Traktor made their official statement.

Last season, Vitali Kravtsov played 35 games in the regular KHL season and championship, scoring seven points with four goals. He appeared in 16 games in the Gagarin Cup playoffs recording six goals with 11 points. At the end of the season, Kravtsov the won the bronze medals of the KHL and the MHL.

The Rangers’ future is bright as three prospects in the KHL should be joining the club soon enough. Kravtsov, Igor Shestyorkin, and Yegor Rykov will see their KHL contracts expire following the 2018-19 season.

A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at