Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin/HC Traktor

Top Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov continues his playmaking exhibition in the KHL. With six points (four assists) in his last four games, Kuznetsov seems to have shaken off a bad start in which he had four consecutive pointless games and suffered a shoulder injury.

In the last two games, Kuznetsov added three assists, two of which were highlight-worthy.

In a match-up against one of the league’s bottom-feeders, Dinamo Minsk, the 21-year-old forward shook off a check from defenseman Andrey Filichkin and set up former Cap Jan Bulis for a tap-in finish in front of the net. That goal opened the scoring and became the eventual game-winner of the 3-0 Traktor performance.

Kuznetsov tried to knife in from the sharp angle, but the puck got poked away from him. His teammate Petri Kontiola picked it up, skated a circle around the defense, and pulled the trigger. Former Senators prospect Jeff Glass made the save, but Kontiola was first on the rebound.

On the powerplay, Kuznetsov got denied on a slapper from the right circle, but he got the puck back and faked a shot, passing instead to Stanislav Chistov, who had all day to put the puck in the gaping net.

Traktor is currently one point out from the playoff picture with three games in hand over Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg. In their next game on Tuesday, Traktor will face Mark French, Boyd Kane, and Medvescak Zagreb.

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  • jp_daddi0

    Nikki only needed 1 game. Just sayin…

  • Burn

    Can we talk about the Russian version of ‘We Will Rock You’ played in the 1st and 3rd clips? 😀

  • Fedor

    Shaybu, Shaybu, Traktor! which can be roughly translated as Let’s Go Traktor! Kind of Traktor’s special.

  • JH

    Nice work, but I’m still wondering how good this kid will be in the NHL. Hopefully we find out this spring!

  • Fedor

    That’s always the question. Aside from AHL, KHL is closest to the big-league conditions (it’s at least the same age group) though there were a lot of players who lit up the K but never turned into anything special in the NHL (see Roman Cervenka). Just like there are a lot of kids who light up the NCAA or juniors and never turn into anything special in the NHL, either.

    Projecting player’s performance from one league to another, especially if a player hasn’t done developing and may either stall or take a huge leap has proved to be barely, if ever, doable. There were some statistic projections, but their results were not necessarily correct. To project player’s production in another eague you need to at least be aware of his style of play, competition and linemates.

  • Mavic700c

    Am I the only person who is sick of hearing about him? Every article I read just makes me feel like he’s going to get into a comfort zone in the KHL and just end up never coming over. I know everyone says he’ll be here next spring, but I’m fairly sure I remember being told the same thing last year.

  • Matt Root

    Really curious to see how his play could be affecting his chances for making the Sochi roster. If I recall correctly, the rosters will be finalized Feb. 11th, so there’s still so much time. I’m not too familiar with the entirety of Russia’s player base that was invited to the developmental camp, but is Kuzya being regarded as a lock for a spot, Fedor?