Canucks forward Kravtsov bolts back to Russia: report

May 23 2023, 7:01 pm

Vitali Kravtsov is going home. The 23-year-old Vancouver Canucks winger will sign a two-year contract with Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL, according to multiple reports out of Russia.

A restricted free agent, Kravtsov will earn close to $1 million USD with bonuses according to CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal. He earned $925,000 in the NHL last season.

Kravtsov was a ninth overall draft pick by the New York Rangers just five years ago, but the 6-foot-3 forward has failed to live up to expectations.

Kravtsov had just 20 points in 48 NHL games before the Rangers gave up on him, sending the Russian winger to Vancouver in a trade on February 25 for Will Lockwood and a seventh-round draft pick in 2026.

Chelyabinsk Traktor is a team Kravtsov is very familiar with, as he has spent parts of six seasons playing for the KHL club.

The Canucks will retain Kravtsov’s rights, and perhaps he will return to the NHL someday, but don’t bet on it.

In fact, we might see Nikita Tryamkin sooner. The much-talked-about former Canucks defenceman, who turns 29 this summer, is apparently interested in returning to the NHL after playing the last six seasons in Russia. He’s an unrestricted free agent, as the Canucks no longer control his rights.

ā€œI am not negotiating with anyone in Russia yet. That would be unfair,” Tryamkin said in a Russian-language interview recently, translated with Google Translate. “I’m waiting for a call from across the ocean, but I confess that I’m not going to wait long. And if it does not exist, then I will instruct the agents to look at the Russian options.”

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