In case you missed the news earlier this week, New York Rangers forward Vitali Kravtsov has demanded a trade after failing to make the team's opening night roster. Kravtsov's new agent Dan Milstein has received permission from the team to seek a trade to another team in the NHL.
And according to Rangers insider Larry Brooks, Kravtsov refused assignment to the Rangers' AHL affiliate Hartford Wolfpack and has been suspended by the club for non-compliance.
It's not up to Kravtsov and Milstein to facilitate a trade elsewhere in the NHL, but according to a report from TSN NHL insider Darren Dreger, that may prove difficult.
- Darren Dreger
If Rangers rookie GM Chris Drury is expecting a top six forward in return for a guy who can't even crack an NHL roster, then I don't see a deal happening anytime soon. Kravtsov is a skilled player, no doubt, but he's had three shots to crack the Rangers' roster and hasn't been able to do it.
He's is a former 9th overall pick from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and has just 20 NHL games on his resume. He was selected ahead of other top prospects like Evan Bouchard, Oliver Wahlstrom, Grigori Denisenko and the Rangers' own K'Andre Miller. Ouch. He was taken just a few picks after NHL stars like Brady Tkachuk, Quinn Hughes and Adam Boqvist. Double ouch.
In 20 games with the Rangers last season the 21 year old Kravtsov put up two goals and four points. He also managed 16 goals and 24 points in 49 games with the KHL's Chelyabinsk Traktor, as well. By my count this is Kravtsov's third attempt to make the team out of Rangers training camp and, despite having a new coach to impress in Gerard Gallant, Kravtsov was still unable to crack the main squad. Uninterested in reporting to Hartford for a second time, Kravtsov has essentially decided to take his ball and go home.
But here's the thing... I wouldn't be surprised if there's real interest in Kravtsov on the trade market. He has undeniable skill and, while his game needs some refining, he does have two way ability and can be molded into a valuable two-way winger. But is the asking price too high?