Vitali Kravtsov expected to join Rangers soon

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The Rangers should have the necessary cap space to accommodate Vitali Kravtsov if, as expected, he is recalled from his loan to KHL Chelyabinsk when his team’s run is up in the KHL playoffs that commence Wednesday, The Post has been told.

The 21-year-old winger, selected No. 9 overall in the 2018 draft, finished with 24 points in 49 games after scoring his 16th goal in Friday’s regular-season finale.

Chelyabinsk, which finished with 74 points, is matched up against Salavat Yulaev, which finished with 81 points, in the eastern quarters. The fourth game of the best-of-seven is scheduled for March 9.

Under his entry-level contract, Kravtsov is in for a cap charge of $925,000 plus an $800,000 bonus package. The Rangers should have enough room in another couple of weeks for Kravtsov as long as injured parties return sooner rather than later and further injuries do not occur that would force the team to keep a bloated roster.

There has been no official declaration from either the Rangers or Kravtsov’s camp about either’s intentions following the end of Chelyabinsk’s season, but a call to New York should be anticipated barring an unforeseen development.

Vitali Kravtsov
Vitali Kravtsov
Anthony J. Causi

Kravtsov posted 15 points (6-9) in 39 games for the AHL Wolf Pack last season sandwiching his stint in the KHL, but there is zero chance the Blueshirts would bring him to North America next month and assign the winger to Hartford.

The Rangers at this point do not have the available space to promote Morgan Barron — under the same contract as Kravtsov — from the Wolf Pack.


Rangers were 0-for-3 in 4:00 of power-play time that included 13 seconds of a five-on-three in Sunday’s 4-1 Garden defeat to the Bruins.

The Blueshirts are 0-for-2 in 48 seconds of five-on-three time this season. The Bruins, who scored a shorthanded empty-netter to seal the scoring at 18:05 of the third period with Alexandar Georgiev pulled for the extra attacker and a six-on-four edge, were 0-for-1 on the power play in 13 seconds with the man-advantage.


Mika Zibanejad, who recorded three shots on five attempts, played a season-low 17:29, after having played what then represented a season-low 18:00 in Friday’s 6-2 victory over the B’s. Zibanejad, who has six points (2-4) and has not scored a five-on-five goal this season, has averaged 18:29 of ice over the last four games after getting 20:41 per through the first 15 contests. A year ago, No. 93 averaged 21:38 of ice time per.


Artemi Panarin’s leave of absence continued, the winger missing his third straight in the aftermath of the uncorroborated 10-year old assault charges levied against him in Russia by Andrei Nazarov.


Kaapo Kakko missed his fourth straight game while on the COVID protocol list for the ninth consecutive day. Filip Chytil, who could be a go for Tuesday’s Garden match against the Sabres, missed his 14th straight since sustaining what is believed to be a broken hand in Pittsburgh on Jan. 24.

Jacob Trouba (broken thumb) was sidelined for his sixth straight while Anthony Bitetto was designated as a healthy scratch for the second straight contest.

Bitetto has played nine games since his Feb. 1 promotion from the taxi squad. The defenseman would need waivers in order to be returned to the taxi squad starting Tuesday.


The 7-9-3 Blueshirts are scheduled to face the Sabres at the Garden on Tuesday for their 13th home game in 20 contests before embarking on a six-game trip including two matches apiece at New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Boston.

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