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Caps will have to wait until next year for talented Kuznetsov

Dec 30, 2011, 9:08 PM EST

SWEDEN VS RUSSIA HOCKEY AP

It looks like the Caps have yet another supremely skilled Russian forward on the way—just not this season. After watching Russian captain Evgeny Kuznetsov put up nine points in a single game last night against Lativa in the World Junior Championships, fans in Washington may have had visions of the Capitals adding another potent scorer to the mix at the end of the season. But those dreams will have to wait a few more months.

“He’s ready to play here and he needs to play in a better league,” Washington GM George McPhee said about Kuznetsov. “When you’re not playing at the highest level you can develop some bad habits and you don’t want that stuff to become engrained, so we want to get him in the best league he can and work with him.”

Unfortunately, because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kuznetsov cannot come over and play in North America after his KHL season concludes. Fans will have to wait the beginning of next season before they get to see the talented prospect rock a different shade of red.

Despite the wait, McPhee said that Kuznetsov looks like he’s ready for the NHL and will get every opportunity to make the Capitals roster next season. He acknowledged that the team hasn’t started negotiations with Kuznetsov’s agent for an entry-level deal; but added that it was nothing out of the ordinary. He also added that he likes to leave players alone during the WJC tournament, but plans on working on a deal to bring the skilled forward to North America for next season.

Not a bad prospect for the 26th pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, eh?

  1. drewsylvania - Dec 30, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    The Caps have a pile of talent. It’s underperforming

  2. mojosmagic - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    What year was he drafted .

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    They do have a lot of potential offensively. But will it get them Lord Stanley’s Cup???

  4. danphipps01 - Dec 31, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    When’s their supply of Russian star power going to dry up? Judging by the comically awful performance of the two “stars” this year, I figured it already had.

  5. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Dec 31, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    what a draft pick he was… no one saw this kid doing what he is doing now… thought he would be a flyer that could easily be a bust but he has come on VERY strong this year. Man am I jealous!

  6. rainyday56 - Dec 31, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    The Caps would have trouble beating the Latvia juniors right now so yeah, this Kutsnutsoff guy would come in handy.

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