Kuznetsov: I'm going to the NHL

Kuznetsov with the Caps / Flickr Kuznetsov with the Caps / Flickr

Evgeny Kuznetsov is undoubtedly KHL's most talented young player. He's also a player that was drafted 26th overall by the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals in 2010, making his next career move a difficult decision.

According to R-Sport and the players' most recent statements, that decision has now been made. It appears that Evgeny Kuznetsov won't be the KHL's brightest Russian beacon in years to come. He'll be moving to Washington and joining fellow Russian, Alexander Ovechkin in a Capitals uniform.

“I've got one year left on my Traktor deal, and then I'd like to move to the NHL. This will be my last year with Traktor, at least I'd like to think so. I'm going to the NHL.”

21 year old winger also served as captain of the Russian junior team in the World Junior Championship where he competed 3 times, winning one gold and one silver medal. In a game against Latvia on December 29, 2011, Kuznetsov recorded three goals and six assists for nine points in a 14–0 trashing done by Russia. This set a record for most points by a Russian player at the World Juniors, and was the second highest game total in the competition’s history, one point behind Peter Forsberg in 1993.

In his four year Chelyabinsk career, Kuznetsov has scored 125 points (57 goals) in 179 games played. Although pretty secretive about his NHL aspirations, the departure of the two time KHL All Star and probably the most important player for team Russia's future hockey aspirations was expected, but will definitely be a tough pill to swallow for the KHL.

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