“Better Know a Prospect” will be a series of posts profiling both the better known and lesser known Caps prospects in the various levels of the Capitals system
(Picture via Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Name: Evgeny Kuznetsov
Born: May, 19th 1992 (Chelyabinsk, Russia)
Height/Weight: 6 foot/172 lbs
Current Team: Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL)
Drafted: 2010, 26th overall by the Capitals
- Helped Russia win silver in 2009 U18 tournament
- Evgeny was captain of the Russian U18 in 2010
- Check out those sweet Crocs
- “McPhee said he was so eager to select Kuznetsov, he attempted to trade a prospect in order to move up as many as 10 spots. As it turned out, that wasn’t necessary.” – Tarik El-Bashir
- Stats (via Wikipedia)
- “We think he’s a very, very dynamic player. He can skate, he thinks the game well, he moves the puck, he really attacks the net.” – George McPhee
- Likes to model his play after Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk
- Both Kuznetsov and fellow Russian Capitals’ prospect Dimitry Orlov expressed interest in playing in North America for the upcoming season. So far it would seem they will be staying in the KHL
Kuznetsov is described as fast and skilled by most who have watched him and after seeing him first hand at Capitals Development Camp the Chronicles agrees. The NHL director of European Scouting described him as;
He is fast, skillful and talented. He is also a leader on the ice, he was captain of the Russian Under-18 team and he had an excellent tournament. He is very skilled.
One scouting report from early last year praised his skill but said it seemed his intangibles were lacking, nothing unusual for a player of his young age. However it would seems that in between then and now he has matured considerably. At Development Camp he was not only looking thrilled to be on the ice, so much so as to get a Brooks Laich comparison from the Chronicles bloggers, but was often the loudest and most willing to communicate with the other players for his group (even despite the language barrier.)
Kuznetsov certainly garnered a lot of attention from the coaches, fans and media (both “new” and “old”) at the development camp. We here at the Chronicles each like to choose any where from one to three prospects from each years development camp we think will do the best and/or get signed by the Capitals organization in the upcoming year and we both had Kuznetsov on our lists.
He may need to have some time to adjust to North American style of play but in skill and personality the exuberant Kuznetsov is certainly set up for a stint in the NHL in the next few years.
(After this incident both players talked to Caps Snaps about it.)