New York Rangers: Vitali Kravtsov becomes first piece to Rangers’ rebuild

The New York Rangers logo. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers logo. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers selected 9th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. They went Russian winger Vitali Kravtsov.

By the end of the 2017-2018 regular season the New York Rangers ended up finding themselves with three first round picks and at the very beginning of a rebuild.

To ensure the early stages of the rebuild goes smoothly the Rangers decided to hire a former college coach in David Quinn.

The first pick of the Rangers’ three in the draft was one the Rangers are not used to even having, their own lottery pick.

However, with that selection, they went with Vitali Kravtsov. The Russian winger is only 18 years old and comes into a rare New York situation, with no pressure.

The good news for the Rangers is that Kravstov has spent time in the KHL. That is an established league where young players are given time to shine and still play hockey at a great level. Considering he is still 18 that looks good for them.

The Kravstov pick can even be considered a steal. This draft was essentially wide open after the first overall selection, Rasmus Dahlin now of the Buffalo Sabres.

The Rangers are in a situation where they have plenty of time to develop Kravstov. As a winger, it is not obvious to note that he is known for his offense.

His offensive ability is what comes naturally so the Rangers and their system can use these years of rebuilding to develop his physicality and ability to make hits.

However, he is not NHL ready now. But just as I mentioned, that is fine. That is what the Rangers need.

Once the Rangers are ready to begin attempting a run towards the Cup they will be able to throw Kravtsov into just about a line with anybody and generate offense.

The Rangers made a very great selection here. It is a safe pick. He has such high upside to develop into the new, faster and more creative NHL.

Next: Rangers rebuild is on course

He should thrive and be the prospect to watch as the rebuild begins to take its course.