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Washington will have to wait: Caps prospect Kuznetsov officially staying in Russia

Jun 4, 2012, 1:07 PM EDT

kuznetsov 2 Getty Images

According to the KHL website, the Washington Capitals won’t be seeing 2010 first-round pick Evgeni Kuznetsov anytime soon.

Under the league’s contract listings for the upcoming campaign, Kuznetsov’s name appears alongside a new two-year deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk, the team on which he’s played since 2009.

(There’s a screengrab here, courtesy Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Taken 26th overall by Washington 2010, Kuznetsov made waves earlier this month by verbally agreeing with Traktor on the two-year deal and, in the process of explaining his decision to stay in Russia, revealed he hadn’t yet informed the Capitals.

This raised eyebrows throughout the league as many figured Kuznetsov would soon be joining the Caps and playing alongside countryman Alex Ovechkin (much like the two did for the gold medal-winning Russian team at the recently completed World Hockey Championships.)

The plight of Kuznetsov has been closely followed in the nation’s capital this year, especially after his scintillating performance at the 2012 World Juniors. He scored 13 points in six games and was named to the first All-Star team, Best Forward and Tournament MVP.

  1. kantnockdahustle89 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Its better he stays over in the KHL to mature. His flip flopping and diva-ing isnt needed on the Caps. Less Russians more North Americans might do wonders considering they are ridding themselves of another diva in Semin.

    You mentioned he played on the recent World Hockey Championships but he played 0:00 minutes in the gold medal game…

    • Mike Halford - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Yeah, I’m not really sure what happened at the Worlds. He only played 2:26 in the semis, just over four mins in the quarters.

  2. sergeikremlin - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Looks to me like Kuznetsov wants to stay true to the motherland for a couple more seasons in order to secure his spot on the Sochi 2014 Olympic team. He is top-6 NHL ready, but this is the risk you take drafting a Russian. Caps will have to wait and watch his YouTube highlights for two more years.

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