Kitchener Rangers trade defender Giovanni Vallati

Kitchener Rangers trade defender Giovanni Vallati

The Kitchener Rangers have announced a trade for defenceman Giovanni Vallati to the Oshawa Generals.

In compensation, the Rangers will receive a slew of future picks: a second round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, a second round pick in 2020, and two third round picks in 2022 and 2023.

Vallati was the Rangers’ first round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, drafted 16th overall.

The 18-year-old Ottawa native represented Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie in 2016, bringing home a silver medal.

He was selected in the 5th round by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2018 NHL Draft.

“We wish Giovanni and his family nothing but the best as he continues his junior hockey career in Oshawa,” general manager Mike McKenzie said in a press release.

Vallati compiled career-highs in assists and points in the 2017-18 season.

Kitchener Rangers trade one, acquire another

Kitchener Rangers trade one, acquire another

CTV Kitchener
Published Friday, August 17, 2018 12:53PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 17, 2018 6:21PM EDT

The Kitchener Rangers have announced a trade for defenceman Giovanni Vallati to the Oshawa Generals.

In compensation, the Rangers will receive a slew of future picks: a second round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, a second round pick in 2020, and two third round picks in 2022 and 2023.

Vallati was the Rangers’ first round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, drafted 16th overall.

The 18-year-old Ottawa native represented Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sault Ste. Marie in 2016, bringing home a silver medal.

He was selected in the 5th round by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2018 NHL Draft.

“We wish Giovanni and his family nothing but the best as he continues his junior hockey career in Oshawa,” general manager Mike McKenzie said in a press release.

Vallati compiled career-highs in assists and points in the 2017-18 season.

The Rangers also announced that they had acquired defenceman Justin MacPherson from the Niagara Ice Dogs.

It cost the Rangers two future third round picks and a fifth round pick.

Rangers changed everything by committing to youth movement

Rangers changed everything by committing to youth movement

The 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago was a little more than four months ago, but since then, the entire tenor of the Rangers’ organization changed. Back then, general manager Jeff Gorton joked about having not been on the first-night draft stage in a long time — because the organization had been without a first-round pick since 2012.

The rebuilding that has happened in the interim has vaulted the Rangers’ prospect pool from one of the worst in the league to one of the best. They made five first-round picks in the past two drafts combined, added four highly touted prospects in trades just this past season and now have the kind of organizational depth that actually has other teams calling and asking about Rangers prospects.

More than front office members standing on any stage, that is proof of how far the franchise has come in the eyes of those around the league.

“Internally, I know we’re excited at where we’re at,” assistant general manager Chris Drury recently told The Post. “You can have all the picks and make the trades, but you have to pick the right guys. In hindsight, getting some feedback around the league, I think organizationally we’re excited about who we got.”

It started the afternoon before that first-round draft night in Chicago, when Gorton sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Tony DeAngelo — himself a former first-rounder — and the No. 7-overall pick in that draft. Gorton then used that pick to take Lias Andersson, the ultra-competitive Swedish center. With the Rangers’ own pick, at No. 21, Gorton took Czech pivot Filip Chytil.

Lias AnderssonGetty Images

Both players got a taste of the NHL this past season — with Chytil, then 18, making the team out of training camp. Both will have ample opportunity not just to make the team at this training camp, but also to pencil themselves in for big minutes under new coach David Quinn.

This past season, Gorton and team president Glen Sather made a bold statement about the rebuilding process and sold off the bulk of their most-coveted assets before the trade deadline. By getting rid of Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Nick Holden, the return brought two more first-round picks to add to the one they already had in this year’s draft, along with some young players who were very hard to pull away from their teams. That includes defensemen Yegor Rykov, Ryan Lindgren and Libor Hajek, as well as center Brett Howden.

Gorton then used the first-round picks this June in Dallas to take Vitali Kravtsov (No. 9), K’Andre Miller (No. 22) and Nils Lundkvist (No. 28). Add in highly developed defenseman and third-round pick Jakob Ragnarsson, and the restocking of the system has been staggering.

“If you look back to the draft in Chicago, getting Lias and Filip in that first round, and then the three picks this year, then you addd in Howden, Hajek and Lindgren, a lot of good pieces have been added since Chicago,” Drury said. “And in our opinion, some very exciting pieces.”

For now, Kravtsov is going to stay in the KHL, and Miller is going to play his freshman year at Wisconsin. But along with Andersson and Chytil, there will be opportunity in training camp for showcasing Rykov, Lindgren, Hajek and Howden. They might start in AHL Hartford, but it might not be too long of a wait to see them on Broadway.

Rangers rookies (left to right) Vitali Kravtsov, K’Andre Miller and Nils LundkvistCharles Wenzelberg

It’s in contrast to the way the Rangers were for most of the past decade, a team that was doing everything it could to win the Stanley Cup each season. The Rangers wanted to take advantage of the prime of goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s career, and that is why they traded away so many picks to get veteran players. It almost worked. They made one run to the Stanley Cup final and two others to the conference final. But they never could get over the hump.

That is why Gorton felt the stage in Chicago so unfamiliar, and why prospect camps used to be seemingly irrelevant. Now, in just over a year, the organization as a whole has changed drastically.

“My first year, there wasn’t a lot of draft picks at the camps. There were free agents just to fill out the camp,” said Drury, who took over as director of player development in 2015 and was promoted to assistant GM the following year. “I’ve said it another a times, it was a heck of a run by a lot of players. We were close to top of mountain. But now, it’s just time to refresh and we’re all real excited.”

Rangers, defenseman Brady Skjei agree on 6-year deal

Rangers, defenseman Brady Skjei agree on 6-year deal

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rangers have avoided arbitration with defenseman Brady Skjei and agreed on a six-year contract.

New York general manager Jeff Gorton announced the deal with the 24-year-old restricted free agent on Saturday, three days before Sjkei’s arbitration hearing was scheduled. Skjei was coming off his entry-level contract.

Skjei is a poster boy for the Rangers’ rebuild as a young, homegrown player counted on to take on an increased role. The 2012 first-round pick has already played 169 NHL games and is going into his third full season.

Playing all 82 games last season, Sjkei averaged a career-high 21 minutes a game and had four goals and 21 assists. He was 10th in Calder Trophy voting for rookie of the year in 2016-17 when he had 39 points.

For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Rangers and their top pick agree to wait a year for each other

Rangers and their top pick agree to wait a year for each other

Vitali Kravtsov’s development will continue for one more season in Russia after the likelihood arose that a conflict over the final year of his KHL contract would keep the Blueshirts’ 2018 ninth-overall draft selection off the ice for an extended period, The Post has learned.

Sources report that the KHL was prepared to file a grievance if Kravtsov had attempted to buy his way out of this second year of his entry-level deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk. The arbitration hearing process might have taken months, during which time the first-rounder would not have been able to play on either side of the Atlantic. KHL training camps begin in the middle of July. The regular season opens on Sept. 1.

Hence, though Kravtsov and the Rangers were eager for the 18-year-old winger to begin his adaptation to the North American game and lifestyle in Hartford with the AHL Wolf Pack, all parties agreed it would be in everyone’s mutual interest for him to avoid potential litigation and instead play out his obligation. He will be free and clear of his KHL commitment at the end of the season.

Kravtsov, who participated in the Blueshirts’ prospect camp late last month, will thus be unable to join the team for training camp and the Traverse City rookie tournament. He is, however, a prime candidate for a spot on Team Russia’s World Junior roster.


Talks between the Lightning and Senators regarding a potential Erik Karlsson trade have subsided. Indeed, Dallas has re-emerged as the most likely destination for the two-time Norris recipient if Ottawa moves him within the foreseeable future.

The Rangers, though, are maintaining a level of interest in bringing former captain Ryan Callahan back to New York if Tampa Bay feels the need to address looming 2019-20 cap issues. Callahan has two years at $5.8 million per remaining on his deal. General manager Jeff Gorton would presumably be seeking a draft sweetener in conjunction with obtaining Callahan.

No. 24’s recent history of injuries and rehab (including post-playoff right shoulder surgery that will likely sideline him for up to the first month of the season) mitigates against the Lightning being able to securely project Callahan for a 2019 buyout. The CBA prohibits buyouts of injured players.


David Quinn has returned from his sojourn to Sweden, where the head coach met with Henrik Lundqvist. The Blueshirts, who are retaining Lindy Ruff as an assistant, are in the process of finalizing their coaching staff.

Vitali Kravtsov To Remain in KHL for 2018-19 Season

Vitali Kravtsov To Remain in KHL for 2018-19 Season

Vitali Kravtsov is remaining with Traktor Chelyabinsk for the upcoming season. The news was released on the team’s website and featured a quote (via Google Translate) from the New York Rangers’ 2018 first rounder.

I stay in Russia, I stay in the “Traktor”. This season in the native team will help me grow professionally. In turn, I will try to make for “Traktor” a lot of useful and more please the fans.

The translation is broken, but basically he wants to use this year to develop professionally, be a useful player and one who makes the fans happy. Kravtsov isn’t the only Ranger prospect who will be in the KHL this year, and the franchise could have reinforcements on the way in early 2019.

As Alex points out, the Rangers have three players with KHL deals expiring, and their regular season ends on February 22. This doesn’t include potential Gagarin Cup playoff games, but we don’t even know how the Rangers will be playing at that point of the season.

Overall this move isn’t a total shock, and I would imagine there was a lot of dialogue between Kravtsov and the Rangers. There’s always the chance that Traktor doesn’t make the playoffs and he’s Hartford bound at the beginning of March, but for now we will just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on this move? Would you have preferred Kravtsov start the year in Hartford, or are you fine with him remaining in the KHL?

Poll

Where did you want Vitali Kravtsov to play this season?

  • 39%
    Traktor – KHL

    (59 votes)

  • 47%
    Hartford – AHL

    (71 votes)

  • 12%
    Rangers – NHL

    (19 votes)

149 votes total Vote Now