Canucks prospect Vitali Kravtsov out 4–6 weeks after taking massive hit in KHL
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould7 days ago
Vitali Kravtsov, who left the Vancouver Canucks to return to Russia over the summer but remains on the team’s reserve list, suffered an upper-body injury as a result of a massive hit by HC Lada Togliatti defenceman Maxim Berezin.
Kravtsov, who plays for Traktor Chelyabinsk, suffered the injury early in the first period of his team’s 3–1 loss to Lada on September 12.
After receiving a pass through the middle of the Traktor defensive zone, Kravtsov barely had time to react before Berezin exploded through him with a heavy open-ice check.
The Twitter account Hockey News Hub, which covers the KHL, reported Wednesday that Kravtsov will miss 4–6 weeks while recovering from his upper-body injury.
Before suffering the injury, Kravtsov had collected two goals and five points in five games with Traktor in 2023–24.
Kravtsov, 23, appeared in 16 games with the Canucks late in the 2022–23 regular season after coming to Vancouver in a mid-season trade with the New York Rangers. The 6’2″ left wing collected one goal and one assist in his time with the Canucks.
The Rangers originally selected Kravtsov with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Vladivostok, Russia product scored a career-best 16 goals and 24 points in 49 games with Traktor to start the 2020–21 season before coming to North America and finishing the year with the Rangers.
Kravtsov managed just two goals and four points in 20 games with the Rangers in 2020–21. He spent the 2021–22 campaign back in Russia before returning to North America once again for 2022–23, picking up three goals and six points in 28 games with the Rangers before being traded to the Canucks in exchange for forward Will Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round draft pick.
Although Kravtsov elected to head back to Russia after his brief stint in Vancouver, the Canucks kept his NHL rights by tendering him a qualifying offer before the June deadline. If he ever shows signs of having taken another step before he turns 27, the Canucks can engage in discussions about bringing him back to North America.
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