Vitaly Kravtsov is not here to talk about the past, but the 22-year-old winger understands that it must be addressed.
“I’ve definitely made a lot of noise in the past, so it’s essential for me to get myself back a bit,” said Kravtsov, who badly declined an appointment to the AHL Wolf Pack last year and instead returned to Russia. “Everyone in the locker room understands. It’s all about mutual respect, getting started and joining the team.”
(Kravtsov joked: “I forgot his tie in Russia. That’s why I came back”).
Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury kept the lines of communication open with the ninth overall pick for the 2018 NHL Draft after he was first suspended, then allowed to play for his KHL club Chelyabinsk Traktor. There was an initial trading request from the player, but when Drori couldn’t get an adequate payout, he patiently held out and worked to mend the relationship with Kravtsov.
It was not an act of charity. Rangers don’t just need Kravtsov To earn a place in the top six, But also to be productive. They sure give him every opportunity to showcase his talent by putting him on the right side of the second line with Artemi Panarin on the left and Vincent Trocheck on the right.
“It is easier for me to play with them than for them to play with me,” said Kravtsov with a smile. “They are so much better than me. I just try to be there for them.”
Panarin served as a mentor to his compatriot during the camp’s opening days. The two spent extra time together on the ice, as Panarin passed on his wisdom.
Of course, Panarin joked that he was doing it purely out of self-interest, because the better Kravtsov was, the more points he would collect.
“We talk mostly about making minor corrections and focusing on trying to maintain his level,” Banarin said, through an interpreter. “Obviously he’s making good plays. I hope Vitaly stays in the fray. We’ve had four good practices recently. We’ll see if this continues.”
Kravtsov played 20 matches for Rangers at the end of the 2019-20 season, while collecting four points (2-2). He played one game with Panarin and Ryan Strom, and earned a 40:09 aggregate from five to five ice time with Panarin. Kravtsov played eight different streak combinations, and had the majority of the time on the fourth streak with Brett Houdin and Kevin Rooney.
Last year, he played only 19 regular season games and 15 KHL playoffs. It did not necessarily help his development.
“I had some injuries, so I didn’t play a lot of matches,” he said. “I had more experience in practice than games. I got out of the rhythm of the game a little bit. But it is what it is. I have to keep working.”
Kravtsov arrived in New York in early July in order to begin pre-season preparations. He will be now or never as it relates to wing guards, who will require concessions in order to be assigned to the AHL. as if.
“I wanted to come here and practice under the watchful eye of a coach who could tell me what to do,” said Kravtsov. “a lot of [offseason] He was focusing more on my mental health.
“I want to be stronger on the ice, stronger on my feet and do quick turns and quick stops. That’s how the game is played.”
Manager Gerard Gallant – who reached out to Kravtsov last October to try to persuade him to change his mind and report to Wolfpack – said he was pleased with the Russian’s work during the first three days of brawls.
“I like what he’s doing, he’s working hard, he wants to be our hockey team and that’s what he has to do,” Gallant said. “He got a chance. Because he knows that. He still has to make a hockey team.
“You have to come in and play well to make up the hockey team.”
second. It wouldn’t be a bonus if Kravtsov became a productive member of the top six or nine Rangers team. This is a necessity. Rangers need a bonus from the first player in 2018.
“I’ve always had a great feeling here,” said Kravtsov, who is skiing at his third Rangers camp. “I am responsible for what happens. I am just focused on today.”