Vitaly Kravtsov
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The New York Rangers can exhale after learning that Vitali Kravtsov will be fine. He will play in Friday night’s semifinal in the WJC.

Frank Curto

New York Rangers first-round draft pick and Team Russia forward Vitali Kravtsov gave all parties involved quite a scare during Wednesday nights quarterfinal round against Slovakia.

With a 5-0 lead in the second period of his WJC game, Kravtsov got tangled up with the Slovakian defense and appeared to hurt his arm or shoulder. After being checked out by a Russian team doctor on the bench, he headed to the locker room.

He did not return for the third period. Speculation began right away of what the possible injury could be or if he would play in their next game Friday night.

On Thursday it was confirmed that Kravtsov was fine and would be playing in the semifinals match against Team USA on Friday evening.

Rangers fan rejoice.

The tweet roughly translates to, “Kravtsov left because the score allowed. It’s okay with him great news from the head coach”

Kravtsov was drafted ninth overall by the Rangers in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He has been playing in the KHL but has been rumored to be heading to North America this February should his team be eliminated from the KHL Playoffs.

Kravtsov has been centering Russia’s top line with Klim Kostin (St. Louis) and Grigori Denisenko (Florida).

Kravtsov recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in five games at the  2019 IIHF World Junior Championships. Russia is 5-0 in the tournament.

Russia went on to defeat Slovakia 8-3.

Russia’s bout with Team USA will have two of the Rangers first round draft picks from the 2018 NHL Draft play head to head as K’Andre Miller (22nd overall pick) plays defense for Team USA.

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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