Vitali Kravtsov could come to North America at the end of the season
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Rangers top prospect Vitali Kravtsov is considering playing in North America this year should Traktor miss the playoffs. 

Dom Renna

The New York Rangers shocked some of the hockey world when they took Vitali Kravtsov with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. However, he is off to a great start this year and might be coming to North America sooner rather than later.

In his time in the KHL he has done nothing but impress for an 18-year-old playing amongst men. He has 17 points in 33 games for Traktor and could easily have more with his playmaking ability.

Kravtsov is currently on the way to play for Russia in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship roster. He’ll join fellow prospects K’Andre Miller, Joey Keane, Nils Lundkvist, and Jacob Ragnarsson in the tournament for their respected countries.

Don’t get your hopes too high though, if Kravtsov plays a single game in the NHL with New York, they would end up losing a year of control on the 18-year-old. This something the Rangers might want to push considering how young Kravtsov is.

Now you might be asking yourself what about the contract slide they used with Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil a year ago?

Thanks to, the way a contract slide works is that the player has to be 18 or 19-years-old prior to Sept. 15 in order for the contract slide to work. Kravtsov was born on Dec. 23 which puts this plan out of the question.

When Kravtsov does come to North America, expect his time to be played in Hartford on an amateur try-out contract. With expansion on the horizon, the Rangers have to be careful with how they use Kravtsov so signing him to an amateur try-out is the best case scenario for both parties involved.

Regardless of what happens, the Rangers should be thrilled to see Kravtsov wanting to come to North America. Most young players in the KHL are usually hesitant to make the move but, Kravtsov clearly feels he’s ready.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.