Photo: HCTraktor.ru

Now that Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has made it clear he’s coming to DC, the only question left is when. If his KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, makes the playoffs, his journey to North America will be delayed.

On Friday morning, the picture became more clear as Traktor Chelyabinsk defeated Vityaz Chekhov, 3-2, two days after falling to defending champion Dynamo 5-3. Kuznetsov continued some great play, recording a “secondary” assist on (former Capital) Jan Bulis‘ first period goal. He also recorded two shots on goal and lost all three of his face-offs in 20:55 of ice time — most among any Traktor forward.

Kuznetsov’s assist can be seen here:

The win (worth three KHL standings points) jumps Traktor back into playoff position in the East, as they re-claimed the 8th and final playoff spot from Admiral.


This is going to come down to the wire.

Traktor and Admiral have two games left in the regular season, and both games are at home. On Sunday, Traktor plays Torpedo (5th in East) and on the final day of the regular season, they play Ak Bars – the fourth-best team in the league. Meanwhile, Admiral has a much easier schedule, playing Sibir (6th in East) on Saturday and Amur, the worst team in the league, on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.

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  • Dustin Sier

    KUZYA!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • Props to Peter for never letting the Ak Bars joke die. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KRQVqWMc6s

  • Josh Carey

    Wait what? How was that a secondary assist? That’s how it’s recorded on the KHL website’s stat sheet, so I’m not blaming you, Ian, but how…what?

  • Topher Gee

    Have you guys addressed where he would fit in the line up? I might have missed it. Not sure he would be happy with 7min on the 4th line.

  • I’m pretty sure the KHL stat keeper was drunk today. Like every day.

  • Not sure initially, but I think it’s likely he’ll play on the first line.

  • Shawn Murphy

    I think the obvious call is to have a Wilson / Kuzya / Laich HANDSOMEST LINE

    they will dominate time of possession (of our hearts) and lead the league in fenwick hotstuff %

  • Fedor

    Looking at the KHL scorekeeping, it’s probably not a mistake. It’s probably just scorekeepers being asked to not care about primary/secondary, put them in ANY ORDER, JUST GET BOTH RIGHT PLEASE OKAY??? Hey, he’s got the job done.

  • Josh Carey

    What do you think happens if Laich continues to play well? I’d love to see Kuzya on the first line, but that’d most likely mean 21-84-20 on the second line, which no one wants. Do you think Oates will do it anyway?

  • I don’t know. The best fit for a non-English speaking Kuznetsov would be to put him with a Russian-speaking player. I think in the end, he would blend-in really, really well with Backstrom and Ovi, but obviously there are a ton of variables here.

  • Fedor

    If Grabo gets healthy soon, give me a Kuzya – Grabo – Brouwer second line.

  • poodlewoof
  • poodlewoof
  • yv

    Besides easier schedule Admiral has tie-breaker advantage (wins in regulation) and that could be huge at the end.

  • Igor Kleyner

    1st line for sure. Traktor’s 1st line, that is.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Amur needs to grab a shootout specialist. My lord lol.

  • Diller M

    Grasping at straws here, but perhaps secondary is literally the second (final) pass in the scoring sequence?

  • jackbarry93


  • Owen Johnson

    Is that “Shaybu” to the tune of “We will Rock You?”

  • johnnymorte

    Oh, this kid is going to be so good. I’m foaming at the mouth.