The Vitali Kravtsov saga moves to Russia.
The New York Rangers loaned the former first-round pick to the KHL's Traktor Chelyabinsk on Wednesday, nearly one month after Karvtsov was given permission to seek a trade with other teams.
In a statement, Rangers general manager Chris Dury said, “After discussions with Vitali and his representation, we decided a loan to Traktor was in the best interests of both him and the organization,”
“We think very highly of Vitali and the Rangers development staff will continue to work with him to reach our mutual goal of him someday being a New York Ranger.”
Despite the trade request, Kravtsov seems open to returning to New York. Kravtsov reiterated in his own statement that his main goal was "playing for the New York Rangers", while acknowledging that returning to Chelyabinsk was the best decision at the time for him personally.
Kravtsov had previously spent five seasons with Chelyabinsk from 2016-2021, racking up 55 points in 148 games, and will likely benefit from the familiarity he has with the organization.
The Rangers, meanwhile, can continue to field trade calls for their talented young prospect or simply recall him to the NHL roster once the KHL season ends.