New York Rangers first-round draft pick Vitali Kravtsov scores his first goal for Team Russia at the World Junior Championships.

Frank Curto

What an IIHF World Junior Championship debut for Vitali Kravtsov.

New York Rangers fans finally got to see what all the hype is about as Vitali Kravtsov scored his first goal of the World Junior Championships.

Kravtsov scored the power-play goal just over seven minutes into the first period against Denmark to give Russia a 1-0 lead.

Kravtsov, wearing the “A” for Russia, scored on a one-time shot to the left of the Denmark goalie.

His first-period scoring was not done there, as he assisted on Russia’s second goal of the game. A two-point period to kick off his WJC tournament. His stats in the period were impressive as he recorded two shots on goal and won three of four faceoffs, in just under six minutes of ice time.

The Rangers first-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has been the talk of Rangers fans and social media since last June. The Russian forward has plenty of speed along with the puck handling skills you would expect of a player from Russia.

Kravtsov currently plays in the KHL for Traktor Chelyabinsk, appearing in 35 games with four goals and seven points.

There have been rumors floating around mainly on social media that Kravstov might head to North America in February should his Traktor team fail to qualify for the KHL playoffs.

Ranger fans and hockey fans around the world are hoping this might happen if the first period of Thursday afternoon’s game is an indication of what he can bring to the Rangers every day.

Well, maybe we should let Kravtsov get through his first World Junior Championship game before we anoint him as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The future is looking very bright for Vitali and the New York Rangers.

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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