Help Artemi Banarin in Rangers Vitaly Kravtsov to develop as a mentor

As Rangers star winger Artemy Panarin was playing in the Continental Hockey League and making his way into the National Hockey League, he looked to Daniel Markov—a fellow Russian who had nine years of NHL experience—when the two crossed for three seasons with Chekhov Vityaz. .

Markov, who played in defense of the Maple Leafs, Coyotes, Hurricanes, Flyers, Predators and Red Wings, admired Banarin. Panarin recalls that the retired defender pushed him, but she succeeded. So when Vitaly Kravtsov returned to the Rangers scene of this training camp looking to get back on track after turning down an AHL job last season, Panarin took it upon himself to push guidance to his compatriot.

“I think he’s ready to work now, two years ago, not really, he was still playing kid’s hockey,” Panarin told The Post after training on Friday. “Now, he understands everything. Sometimes it’s hard for me – like you lose confidence in yourself. Look at the last qualifiers, the last few matches, the last few matches I lost faith in. But for a young man, it is difficult. He is a strong man. Mentally. , he is strong “.

Vitaly Kravtsov, left, developed a close relationship with Artemy Panarin (10).
Vitaly Kravtsov, left, developed a close relationship with Artemy Panarin (10).
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The two Russian players were often the first snowboarders during training camp, participating in their warm-up exercises or just chatting. Sometimes they zip off to the side while the team skates, and Panarin will point a thing or two to Kravtsov, who seems to stick with every word the veteran says.

It seems natural for Banarin and Kravtsov to relate to each other. Not only do they both have wings, but they both spent part of their early hockey years in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Panarin even said he sees some of his own inclinations in Kravtsov, such as how he focuses more on the pass than on the shot.

Panarin believes that Kravtsov’s main focus should be on gaining confidence. So Kravtsov confirms his point by staying away from social media.

“He told me so,” Kravtsov told The Post.

This training camp was important to Kravtsov, who fled to Russia after failing to crack the opening night roster last season. It was about proving his commitment to the Rangers, which he showed with his early arrival in New York this summer to get a head start in training. No doubt the effort was there, but it hasn’t yielded any eye-catching results on the ice so far.

Artemi Banarin
Artemi Banarin
Jason Szines

Kravtsov spent the beginning of the camp skiing on the second line with Panarin and Vincent Trochek. But over the past few days, Kravtsov has been relegated to the fifth grade, with players on the roster like Dryden Hunt and Julien Gauthier. However, the likelihood of Kravtsov getting time in that second unit once the season officially starts on Tuesday is high.

Under the pressures of flat cover, Rangers need Kravtsov to operate. Panarin considers taking Kravtsov under his wing just an added bonus.

“Every time I go to the locker room, he says to me, ‘Hey, you should be in the gym,’” Kravtsov said of Panarin, laughing. It makes me stronger every day.”

22-year-old Kravtsov feels he’s grown up a bit. All the little things he does to show that he’s involved in everything is not just to impress the Rangers management, it’s for him. Kravtsov said he’s not happy with his pre-season play yet, during which he only scored one pass.

It may take some extra time for Kravtsov to acclimatise. Maybe something will click and his trust will benefit. Maybe he just needs more time with Panarin.

He has such a talent, so much talent, maybe even more than me,” Panarin said with a smile. “But you have to work hard, like [he’s doing] This year, he did everything he could. He is a great player. It needs to build trust. Everyone knows his situation, it is never easy to come and try again.”

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