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Thread: Pronman: Kravtsov the Best Forward at this Week's U-20 Tourney

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    Pronman: Kravtsov the Best Forward at this Week's U-20 Tourney

    This​ past weekend​ in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden,​ there​ was​ a U20​ tournament featuring​ the Czech Republic,​ Finland, Russia and​ Sweden. This​ serves as​​ yet another evaluation opportunity for the World Junior Championship. And for both Finland and Sweden, it is a chance to test out some players who weren’t invited to the tournament in Kamloops. Here are some of the NHL prospects I liked a lot at the tournament, which I watched by way of video. Vitali Kravtsov (NYR) was named the top forward in the tournament, with Simon Johansson (MIN) named top defenseman and Jesper Eliasson (DET) top goaltender.

    RUSSIA
    Vitali Kravtsov, RW, New York Rangers

    Kravtsov is one of the most interesting prospects I’ve seen in the past few years. He was a massive riser, who played well as a 17-year-old in Russia but not at a top 10 pick level. He then had one of the best ends to a season I’ve ever seen from a first-year draft-eligible prospect.

    I watched a ton of him last season. Some games in the KHL, he barely played; other games, he played well. His junior games were good, but he never blew me away. His international appearances were forgettable. I saw a good player, someone with size, speed and skill who can score but who played in straight lines and didn’t create a ton.

    That wasn’t the Kravtsov who showed up in Sweden this past weekend. He was as dominant as I’ve ever seen him. He showed high-end skill and pace to his game. He was everywhere when he was on the ice, pressuring opponents with speed and his ability to create, and for the first time in the times I’ve seen him, he was consistently making plays to his teammates. This was an impressive performance, and he looked like a top 10 pick.
    https://theathletic.com/492466/2018/...20-tournament/

    Really looking forward to this guy coming over next year.

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    Will he have the upside that we need? If he plays like he did in the KHL, we're done. But if Vitali can show his speed like he did at the international level, we should be looking forward to seeing him make a lot of plays in the next couple of years
    #WhatRebuild

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    Quote Originally Posted by rangers02 View Post
    Will he have the upside that we need? If he plays like he did in the KHL, we're done. But if Vitali can show his speed like he did at the international level, we should be looking forward to seeing him make a lot of plays in the next couple of years
    Plays like he did in the KHL? What does that mean? I think it’s safe to assume he’s not done progressing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangers02 View Post
    Will he have the upside that we need? If he plays like he did in the KHL, we're done. But if Vitali can show his speed like he did at the international level, we should be looking forward to seeing him make a lot of plays in the next couple of years
    He started the season in the "3rd" league, moved up to the KHL early on, at a 17 year old. He started by getting less than 10 minutes a game, just getting his feet wet. He gained confidence throughout the year, especially in the playoffs. Since the draft, the confidence seems to have gone to the next level. He's playing like he wants to be the guy. Watching his games since the draft, he's visible on almost every shift, one way or another. He's always around the puck, always finding guys with the puck, and always getting into scoring position. Since the draft, less "experts" have questioned this pick.

    Hopefully this continues into the KHL season and he continues to grow.
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    I think it's really difficult to judge the upside of a guy like Kravtsov. I mean what he did in the playoffs was absolutely outstanding, and as an U-18 only bettered by Malkin iirc. But obviously the sample size is small, and it wouldn't be the first time a guy hit a wave of form that they're rarely if ever able to replicate. Even so, he did it as a kid in the KHL playoffs, which is the highest level of hockey outside the NHL. It's a lot more tricky to judge his full season, with restricted playing time and playing on the 3rd and 4th line.
    In general I think North American scouts, at least the media types, severely undervalue players who are actually playing against pros in the KHL, Sweden and Finland as opposed to guys closer to home in juniors, USHL etc. I mean the quality of those leagues are on a different planet. SEAL scores or not, I think it's virtually impossible to say what would've happened if for instance Kravtsov and Wahlstrom swapped places. Although my suspicion is that Kravtsov would tear the USHL a new one playing alongside Jack Hughes whereas Wahlstrom would probably struggle to fire off 70 shots on net, never mind scoring anywhere near that amount of goals, playing on Traktors 3rd line. But I don't think you can say with any degree of confidence who is better for their individual experiences.
    Last edited by Gravesy; 08-30-2018 at 08:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    He started the season in the "3rd" league, moved up to the KHL early on, at a 17 year old. He started by getting less than 10 minutes a game, just getting his feet wet. He gained confidence throughout the year, especially in the playoffs. Since the draft, the confidence seems to have gone to the next level. He's playing like he wants to be the guy. Watching his games since the draft, he's visible on almost every shift, one way or another. He's always around the puck, always finding guys with the puck, and always getting into scoring position. Since the draft, less "experts" have questioned this pick.

    Hopefully this continues into the KHL season and he continues to grow.
    How do you get the feeds to his games. I would love the info as it will help during a long season to watch some hope

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravesy View Post
    I think it's really difficult to judge the upside of a guy like Kravtsov. I mean what he did in the playoffs was absolutely outstanding, and as an U-18 only bettered by Malkin iirc. But obviously the sample size is small, and it wouldn't be the first time a guy hit a wave of form that they're rarely if ever able to replicate. Even so, he did it as a kid in the KHL playoffs, which is the highest level of hockey outside the NHL. It's a lot more tricky to judge his full season, with restricted playing time and playing on the 3rd and 4th line.
    In general I think North American scouts, at least the media types, severely undervalue players who are actually playing against pros in the KHL, Sweden and Finland as opposed to guys closer to home in juniors, USHL etc. I mean the quality of those leagues are on a different planet. SEAL scores or not, I think it's virtually impossible to say what would've happened if for instance Kravtsov and Wahlstrom swapped places. Although my suspicion is that Kravtsov would tear the USHL a new one playing alongside Jack Hughes whereas Wahlstrom would probably struggle to fire off 70 shots on net, never mind scoring anywhere near that amount of goals, playing on Traktors 3rd line. But I don't think you can say with any degree of confidence who is better for their individual experiences.
    Why would your suspicion be that wahlstrom couldn’t hack it in the khl? You don’t think you can say who’s better yet you plainly infer that Kravtsov is by your comments. Are you speaking with confidence or hoping the rangers didn’t screw the pooch again going off the board? I admittedly don’t know enough. But if you do watch enough and this is your impression then that is a good thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatfrancesa View Post
    Why would your suspicion be that wahlstrom couldn’t hack it in the khl? You don’t think you can say who’s better yet you plainly infer that Kravtsov is by your comments. Are you speaking with confidence or hoping the rangers didn’t screw the pooch again going off the board? I admittedly don’t know enough. But if you do watch enough and this is your impression then that is a good thing.
    I’m not saying Wahlstrom couldn’t hack it in the KHL. But I’m saying there’s absolutely no chance he puts up numbers anywhere near what he did in the USHL, and it’s highly likely Kravtsov puts up astronomical numbers playing alongside Hughes against kids. I’m not trying to say either is better than the other, I’m just saying the huge difference between their playing situations and quality of opposition makes comparisons very difficult.
    And like I said, I have a feeling NA journalists severely under value guys playing more limited roles in Russia/Sweden/Finland against opposition who would absolutely murder your OHL/USHL type teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatfrancesa View Post
    How do you get the feeds to his games. I would love the info as it will help during a long season to watch some hope
    I sent you a message.

    Also, a lot of European and KHL games are on youtube live streams. It's difficult with weird team names, though.
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    No doubt it's too early to tell what he will ultimately be however the progress seen so far is promising.

    It's going to be interesting to check in on his progress in the KHL this year.

    would be great for the organIzation if the Rangers knocked this one out of the park.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slobberknocker View Post
    No doubt it's too early to tell what he will ultimately be however the progress seen so far is promising.

    It's going to be interesting to check in on his progress in the KHL this year.

    would be great for the organIzation if the Rangers knocked this one out of the park.
    Considering they had 3 other top-tier players to choose from, they better have knocked this out of the park.

    On second thought, since they had him as the second best forward, higher than Zadina and Tkachuk, our guy better be top-notch.
    Last edited by Giacomin; 08-30-2018 at 02:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    Considering they had 3 other top-tier players to choose from, they better have knocked this out of the park.

    On second thought, since they had him as the second best forward, higher than Zadina and Tkachuk, our guy better be top-notch.
    Giacomin, don't take me too seriously on this (OK nobody does, lol) but are you also a long-suffering Giants fan?
    Well I guess long-suffering is a flat out lie, we've had it good, compared with poor Jets fans.

    but I couldn't help see this debate over the Kravtsov selection and not be reminded of the Saekwon Barclay vs Sam Darnald decision, and how WFAN or ESPN hosts were debating how that is looking before the first NHL ball is thrown in anger.

    BEGIN GRATUITOUS SPECIOUS ANALOGY
    Long and the short of it was they felt Darnald has the god-given gifts of anticipation and football sense to see the routes developing and hit the receivers where they'll be, and they pretty much anointed him as the dominant QB in New York for the next 20 years, and said, how will it look for NYG if Saekwon has a shorter career and the NYG just don't find that high pick super QB and suffer for decades because of it.

    Is this Kravtsov selection gonna be analysed like this for ever, or are we good?

    Hey it's a long weekend here for some (not for me unfortunately) and that's just me having fun and stirring the pot ...
    If n ya gots jowls, they might as well be furry ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Respecttheblue View Post
    Giacomin, don't take me too seriously on this (OK nobody does, lol) but are you also a long-suffering Giants fan?
    Well I guess long-suffering is a flat out lie, we've had it good, compared with poor Jets fans.

    but I couldn't help see this debate over the Kravtsov selection and not be reminded of the Saekwon Barclay vs Sam Darnald decision, and how WFAN or ESPN hosts were debating how that is looking before the first NHL ball is thrown in anger.

    BEGIN GRATUITOUS SPECIOUS ANALOGY
    Long and the short of it was they felt Darnald has the god-given gifts of anticipation and football sense to see the routes developing and hit the receivers where they'll be, and they pretty much anointed him as the dominant QB in New York for the next 20 years, and said, how will it look for NYG if Saekwon has a shorter career and the NYG just don't find that high pick super QB and suffer for decades because of it.

    Is this Kravtsov selection gonna be analysed like this for ever, or are we good?

    Hey it's a long weekend here for some (not for me unfortunately) and that's just me having fun and stirring the pot ...
    Ha ha Blue, yes I'm a Giant's fan with a first memory of this great kid RB names Tucker Fredrickson, who my dad was raving to me about, blow out his knee for a career ending injury. How's that for a start of long suffering. Well we still had Fran Tarkington, Spider Lockhart and this rookie running back named Ron Johnson though.

    The Barkley versus QB debate will rage on for a while and rightly so. That isn't a Kravtsov versus Wahlstrom, Dobson, Bouchard debate. It goes beyond player evaluation. From the Giant's side it is a debate about taking an all world RB versus a potential franchise QB, when it is unlikely the Giant's will have a pick high enough to grab one in the next couple of years. This is whether Giant fans want to re-experience the long Dave Brown, Danny Kannell years.

    Back to hockey and Kravtsov, this situation feels more like the 1977 draft. The one where we had two 1st rounders and selected both Lucien Deblois and Ron Duguay over a sniper named Mike Bossy. The unfortunate thing about that debate was that you got your wish. It did not last long and the results changed the fate of the Isles and Rangers for 15 years. Let's hope this debate does not end so early.

    My position on this selection is simple. I don't need Kravtsov to be the best of the four, just excellent in his own right. Now if one of those kids turns into a star and Kravtsov is merely adequate, Ranger mgmt should be accountable. If they made a good call, they (scouting) deserve accolades and raises. That's fair, right?

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    Oh and Blue, personnel men say in football you can't judge a draft till 4 years out. For hockey it has to be longer. The point being, you may not want to hear these comparisons, but they are going to happen for at least a few years.

    On the highest levels think Crosby vs Ovechkin (not even the same draft) or Ovechkin vs Malkin. Until this year many reputable hockey guys made a great case for Malkin as the winner. These are winner arguments. If the debate turns into whining, then you know it's over, prematurely. Meaning a clear loser emerged in the nearer term, ala Bossy. Or a total bust like Ryan Leaf vs Peyton Manning.

    Anyway, this is going to be an interesting draft to reflect on. Ranger mgmt put themselves out there to be judged. And I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Mgmt did not just tell us by their actions what they thought of Kravtsov vs the 3 remaining top prospects (a righty sniper and 2 big RHDs) on every board. It is that the Ranger told everyone they liked him better then the forwards taken 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th in the draft. Better than Zadina! When you tell the public this, the guy you selected better be a player, not just a pretty good 3rd liner.
    Last edited by Giacomin; 08-31-2018 at 03:03 PM.

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    Another after thought, but thought it a funny/ironic similarity. The Giants went ahead and did the same thing with Barkley. They publicly stated that not only was he higher than ALL the QBs, including Mayfield, but that he was also their highest rated draftee (score-wise) since Peyton Manning.

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    Not to hijack this thread but the Giants will regret not taking Darnold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vodka Drunkenski View Post
    Not to hijack this thread but the Giants will regret not taking Darnold.
    Worried you're right. And they liked Darnold a lot, but they fell in love with Barkley. The real issue is terrific RBs are consistently found in the first 3 or 4 rounds and have the shortest "lifespan". While teams can search for a Championship type QB for decades.

    I mentioned the Dave Brown/Kannell years, but we can also go back to the Norm Snead years and worse the Piscarcik/Goldstein years of darkness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    Worried you're right. And they liked Darnold a lot, but they fell in love with Barkley. The real issue is terrific RBs are consistently found in the first 3 or 4 rounds and have the shortest "lifespan". While teams can search for a Championship type QB for decades.

    I mentioned the Dave Brown/Kannell years, but we can also go back to the Norm Snead years and worse the Piscarcik/Goldstein years of darkness.
    Agreed to an extent, but the bust potential of QBs is much higher than that of a position player. Barkley is as close to a lock as you can get to someone who will be an elite player at his position, assuming he stays healthy. There were like 5 QBs in the mix to be a top 10 pick. Chances are none of them are "elite". The likely result is that 1-2 might be good while the others bust.

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    As a giants fan it’s inconceivable to me that they are so short sighted and stupid not to take the qb. I’m sure Barkley will be great but qbs drove the league and the giants qb is 37. To me it’s just a case of impatience again by a ny team. They had better hope they don’t spend a decade looking for a qb

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