New York Rangers: Top-10 prospects under 24

Vitaly Kravtsov, New York Rangers. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Vitaly Kravtsov, New York Rangers. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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New York Rangers
Vitali Kravtsov, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

2. Vitali Kravtsov (19), Right Wing

Another potential draft steal (2018 – 9th overall), Vitali Kravtsov tore it up last year for the Russian Junior National Team, scoring 16 points in 16 games. He’s been somewhat of a prodigy reaching the KHL in 2017 at the age of 16 with Traktor Chelyabinsk. Last year he had eight goals and 13 assists in 50 games for Traktor, which was good for third on the team’s scoring list. Not bad for a 17/18-year-old kid playing with men.

Kravtsov is a stickhandling genius. He literally has the puck on a string. In addition, the Russian is just as talented with his feet. Those skills when combined help him find space with the puck that seems to come out of nowhere when just seconds earlier defenders were closing on him. If those were his only skills, he’d be a stud-prospect, but there is much more.

He is adept at all three forward positions. Also, Kravtsov is both a shooter and a playmaker. He’s was on a bad KHL team and had to do it all last year. Sometimes it can be too much, but he’s learning where and when to make the right call with the puck. Now add in his sniper-like shooting skills and Kravtsov is an offensive weapon.

Although Kravtsov is known for his offense, his play on defense has been improving. He certainly doesn’t ignore that aspect of the game. Look for him to compete with the next player on the list for prime time minutes at right wing as well as on the power play.