When the Washington Capitals drafted Evgeny Kuznetsov with the 26th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, they had high expectations of him. After all, he was another highly skilled Russian and the Capitals seem to have luck with those type of players don’t they. However, I don’t think they thought they would be waiting this long for him to bring his services to Washington.
Kuznetsov has been playing in his home country of Russia since he was drafted. Part of the reason he decided to stay there was that he thought he stood a greater chance of making the Russian Olympic team. That didn’t turn out the way he planned as he wasn’t named to the team.
Adam Vingan of NBC Washington had two followers on Twitter ask him about Kuznetsov in his question and answer article regarding Kuznetsov and the possiblity of him coming to Washington this season.
Vingan notes that Kuznetsov’s KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, is eighth place in the KHL’s Eastern Conference. If they stay there until the playoffs start, they will face the top-seeded Metallurg Magnitogorsk. That is not a favorable match-up for them.
So, if Kuznetsov’s team is eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, he could then possibly join the Capitals in late March.
The Capitals would have to sign Kuznetsov to a two-year entry level deal according to the new CBA. That shouldn’t be a problem, although they would have to do some finagling with the salary cap.
The wait for Kuznetsov in Washington could finally be over. It will have been a long time coming.