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BSH 2018 Community Draft Board, No. 17: Vitali Kravtsov

The high-skill Russian winger takes the next spot in our draft board.

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He’s biking his way to Philadelphia.
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Vitaly Kravtsov may end up going down as the steal of the draft. Let’s find out what makes the 18-year old so impressive.

BSH 2018 Community Draft Board, No. 17: Vitaly Kravtsov

Position / Team: RW / Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL)
2017-18 Statistics: 4 G, 3 A in 35 GP
Size: 6’2”, 170

Pre-draft rankings

No. 3 (Euro Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 28 by Future Considerations
No. 36 by ISS Hockey
No. 15 by Pronman/The Athletic (Final)

What’s there to like?

Kravtsov is quite possibly one of the most underrated players of this draft class. As an 18 year old playing in the KHL essentially full-time, putting up 7 points in the regular season, and then 11 in 16 playoff games, those are pretty impressive numbers.

Kravtsov’s skating makes him a threat each time he steps on the ice. He has an explosive stride that helps him gain the zone by pushing defenders back, and also puts himself in high danger areas with his skating. When he gets himself into those areas of the ice, he lets his quick shot do the rest of the work.

Although I think his playmaking isn’t a drawback to his game by any means, his shot seems to be at this point the more lethal part of his game. He gets himself in good shooting areas consistently, and the puck is off his stick in no time. His accuracy may need a little work, but he’s got 25-30 goal scorer potential from what I’ve seen. At times, his puck skills can be game-breaking and in addition to his shot and skating ability, this makes for a deadly trio.

He can also be a very good puck protector at times, although he definitely needs to be more consistent with that aspect of his game. As he continues to grow and build on his 6’2” frame, I think this could become one of the best tools of Kravtsov’s game.

What’s not to like?

Defensive concerns are truly the main issue with Kravtsov as it is with many winger prospects. As I mentioned above, I think with how tall Kravtsov is, it’s going to be very important if he can consistently be strong on the puck. It’s one of the more underrated aspects at times with players, especially wingers, but if Kravtsov can turn into a Jakub Voracek type puck possession guy along the boards, it opens up an entirely new dynamic with him.

How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?

Kravtsov for me would be one of the best prospects in the Flyers system. I think his game projects well to the NHL and I think his potential is extremely high. He’d be right there with Morgan Frost in regards to best forward prospects.

Could the Flyers actually get him?

Barring anything crazy, I think he’s there at 14 and even 19. I think he’s going to be a late-riser as we start getting closer and closer to the draft, but at the very least he should be available at pick 14.

Additional reading

2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Vitali Kravtsov — The KHL Rookie of the Year (Habs Eyes on the Prize)

This was historic production for an under-19 player in the league. Some other notable recent performances included Evgeny Kuznetsov (nine points as a 19 year-old) and Valery Nichuskin (nine points as a 17-year-old). Kravtsov placed his name among some other great rookies with this achievement, forcing some people to revisit their draft rankings.

It’s not that the Traktor player was devoid of skill before that point, but there’s something to be said about the results that skill generates. He showed with that stretch of games that he could produce given the ice time and favourable conditions, checking this box in his evaluation.

2018 NHL Entry Draft Prospect Profile: Vitali Kravtsov (Defending Big D)

Per Jeremy Davis, his estimated points per hour at even strength (1.97) is among the highest of those considered in the top 20: only Filip Zadina (2.40), Andrei Svechnikov (3.19), Oliver Wahlstrom (3.06), Joel Farabee (3.50), and Dominik Bokk (2.10) sit higher.

Most surprisingly, there isn’t a real thorough knock on Kravstov’s game. He’s considered defensively responsible, though it’s not his strength. The flaws worth pointing out are still important enough. Despite his size, Kravtsov doesn’t take advantage of his length. He’s a very slender 6’2, and this has a tangible effect on his effectiveness in the corners.

Highlights (video credit to bigwhite06):

One gone, one added. Going right back to the Halifax Mooseheads for defenseman Jared McIsaac

Jared McIsaac — D, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) — 9 G, 38 A in 65 GP

Jared McIsaac seems like the type of prospect that the Devils could certainly use in their system. He is a capable puck-mover and a player who can play strong defense in his own end. Reading the scouting reports and profiles on him, he doesn’t seem to have any obvious weak points in his game and he does almost everything well. The two-way label can be a double-edged sword when talking about forward prospects but that is a bit less of a concern on defense. Plus, it doesn’t seem that McIsaac is necessarily lacking in skill, either. He can pass, shoot, and handle the puck quite well and can play quality defense to go along with it.

— via All About the Jersey

2018 BSH Community Draft Board

  1. Rasmus Dahlin — D, Frolunda (SHL) (no vote)
  2. Andrei Svechnikov — RW, Barrie (OHL) (60% of the vote)
  3. Filip Zadina — LW, Halifax (QMJHL) (74%)
  4. Brady Tkachuk — LW, Boston University (NCAA) (57%)
  5. Oliver Wahlstrom — C/RW, USNTDP (USHL) (40%)
  6. Quinn Hughes — D, Michigan University (NCAA) (50%)
  7. Adam Boqvist — D, Brynas IF (SHL) (42%)
  8. Evan Bouchard — D, London (OHL) (49%)
  9. Noah Dobson — D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) (50%)
  10. Jesperi Kotkaniemi — C, Assat (Liiga) (34%)
  11. Joe Veleno — C, Drummondville (QMJHL) (38%)
  12. Joel Farabee — LW, USNTDP Juniors (USHL) (45%)
  13. Rasmus Kupari — C, Karpat (Liiga) (31%)
  14. Ty Smith — D, Spokane (WHL) (22%)
  15. Barrett Hayton — C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) (34%)
  16. Bode Wilde — D, USNTDP Juniors (USHL) (30%)
  17. Vitali Kravtsov — RW, Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) (35%)


Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?


Who should be No. 18 in the 2018 BSH Community Draft Board?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Isac Lundestrom
    (38 votes)
  • 5%
    Akil Thomas
    (7 votes)
  • 9%
    Serron Noel
    (13 votes)
  • 19%
    Grigori Denisenko
    (26 votes)
  • 13%
    Martin Kaut
    (18 votes)
  • 13%
    Ryan Merkley
    (18 votes)
  • 7%
    K’Andre Miller
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Benoit-Olivier Grouxl
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Jared McIsaac
    (1 vote)
132 votes total Vote Now