The New York Rangers have signed Russian draft picks Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shesterkin to entry-level contracts. Kravtsov signed a three-year worth $925,000 a season that will carry him through the 2021-22 season Shesterkin inked a contract also worth $925,000, but that will wrap up in the 2020-21 season.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 3, 2019
Vitali Kravtsov & Igor Shesterkin Both Sign Deals
Kravtsov, a19-year-old forward, had eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 50 games with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL this season. He also had two assists in four Gagarin Cup playoff games. He was drafted in the first round, ninth overall of the 2018 NHL Draft.
The Vladivostok, Russia native helped Russia get the bronze medal at the 2019 World Junior Championships. He had six points in seven games.
Shesterkin, a 23-year-old goalie, played in 28 games for SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. He had 1.11 Goals Against Average and .953 save-percentage. The Moscow native also had a 1.95 GAA and .904 save-percentage in the KHL post-season. He was taken in the fourth round, 118th overall of the 2014 NHL Draft.
He has international success with a pair of bronze medals at the 2016 and 2017 IIHF World Championships. Shesterkin was also part of the gold medal winning Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 games.
What This Means for the Future
New York has really injected some youth into their ranks in short order. The Rangers signed Harvard University defenceman and Hobey Baker Award nominee Adam Fox on Thursday. General manager Jeff Gorton also drafted K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist in last year’s draft. The Blueshrts have the second overall selection and a chance at another first-rounder if the Dallas Stars reach the Western Conference final. That came as a result of the Mats Zuccarello trade.
The Rangers may not contend for the post-season right away, but things are looking up in Manhattan. There’s a young group of players that are exciting and have plenty of talent. Head coach David Quinn has some good pieces in place if New York wants to make a move up the standings.
New York Rangers draft choice Vitali Kravtsov.