Evgeny Kuznetsov graduates from Ural State University

Kuzya defends his thesis. Really. (Photo credit: hornews.ru)

Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov is a lot of things: a world champion, a waffler, a three-time KHL All-Star, WJC MVP, and an NHL first-round pick. Add to the list college graduate.

Last Thursday, Hornews.ru’s Alla Tsipordey reported that Kuznetsov graduated from Ural State University of Physical Education — a school located in the 21-year-old’s hometown — with a four-year bachelor’s degree in winter sports.

To complete his training and actually graduate, Kuznetsov had to give another kind of clutch performance. This time he had to defend his thesis on — this is not a joke — penalty killing.

We’ll let Tsipordey explain.

The Traktor player’s choice for the subject of his scientific work was not an easy one, but it was a familiar topic for him: “Penalty killing tactics.”

“Evgeny is a productive player when killing penalties, that’s why he chose this theme,” told the reporter players scientific adviser, the head of the department of Hockey and Soccer Theory and Methodology of Ural GUFK Vyacheslav Ponomarev. “[Kuznetsov] wanted to develop the subject in depth, collect statistical data, and prepare theoretical reasoning.”

In the practical section of his thesis Evgeny presented possible options and non-standard schemes for penalty killing. He attempted to outline the individual role of the player, which quite possibly, was represented by the author himself. As a result of his confident defense, the player earned the highest grade. Following Evgeny were two more well known players from Chelyabinsk – Anton Burdasov, currently with SKA, and Mikhail Mokin, the captain of the Polar Bears.

Tsipordey notes that Kuznetsov heroically volunteered to go first on his thesis defense, even though that would result in more questions from the review board. Kuznetsov also intends to continue with his “studies and scientific work” and enter into a masters program. Entry exams will be held in July.

Evgeny Kuznetsov graduates from Ural State University

The review board. (Photo credit: hornews.ru)

Additional reporting and translation by Igor Kleyner.

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