Evgeny Kuznetsov gets instructions from Traktor’s bench boss Valery Belousov (Photo creditL HC Barys)

Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two goals in Traktor Chelyabinsk’s convincing 5-1 away win over Barys Astana. Kuznetsov scored his first goal on Saturday and now added two more to his total. Video is under the jump.

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Washington Capitals top collegiate prospect Riley Barber is still lighting up the NCAA. Two weeks ago, I wrote about his big weekend against Ohio State. He’s been playing well since, recording points in all but one of Miami University’s six games.

He had a three-point night on Saturday in a 4-4 tie against Providence College.

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Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin/HC Traktor

Red alert! Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has finally scored his first goal of the KHL season.

Coming into Sunday’s game against Avangard, Kuznetsov, who missed six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, had just one assist and a minus-9 — that’s bad even if it’s not a real stat — in the first six games of he played.

Both teams, who faced each other in the Eastern Conference finals last season, were surprisingly outside of the playoff picture as of Saturday — Traktor was ninth and Avangard was tied for 12th in the East. Thankfully for these two teams, someone had to win this game.

Kuznetsov, who has had trouble finding the net since late last season, finally got lucky. While Traktor was on a five-on-three power play, Kuznetsov tried to feed the puck to a wide-open Jan Bulis in front of the net. Instead, the puck got a mind of its own, and hopped under Bulis’s stick and went in off Avangard defenseman Nikita Pivtsakin’s skate.

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In an interview to Alexey Shevchenko of KHL Fanzone in September, Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov emphasized his eagerness to jump to the NHL after the season’s end yet again. However, he said that a five- to seven-year offer in Russia might get him “thinking.”

It’s tough to blame Kuznetsov for wanting a secure financial future, but there’s one problem: He will never get that type of deal in the KHL. Let’s examine Kuznetsov’s comments from the interview.

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Barber wraps around Ohio State’s net. (Photo credit: Michael Griggs/Miami University)

Sixth-round 2012 draft pick Riley Barber has picked up this season right where he left off. In his first two games, a non-conference home-and-home between Barber’s No. 2-ranked Miami University and cross-state rivals Ohio State University, Barber scored seven points: two assists in the 6-2 road blowout on Friday and four goals and one helper in a 6-3 convincing home win on Saturday. Barber, who plays right wing on his team’s top line with Max Cook and Austin Czarnik, now leads NCAA in goals and points. Continue Reading

Andre Burakovsky Scores Five Points in One Game

Burakovsky is interviewed after being named first star of the game. (Photo via DaneFox)

Washington Capitals 2013 first-round pick Andre Burakovsky had his best game in the OHL so far on Saturday. He was named first star of the game after scoring a goal and recording four assists in the Erie Otters’ 8-4 win over the North Bay Battalion.

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Carrick signs his deal. (Photo credit: @CapitalsPR)

Capitals defensive prospect Connor Carrick has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the club, according to Mike Vogel. Via CSN’s Chuck Gormley, Carrick’s deal carries a $550,000 NHL salary in years one and two, and a cap hit of $575,000 in year three.

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Where Can Connor Carrick Play This Year?

Connor Carrick (#58) waits for the puck drop with Tom Wilson and Aaron Volpatti. (Photo credit: Samantha Pyear/Q Net News)

We received this question on Wednesday:

We’ve got your answer.

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The Likelihood of Tom Wilson Making the Capitals

Photo credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Washington Capitals power forward prospect Tom Wilson has come a long way from where he was last year. Some think he’s primed for a roster spot with the big club this season.

There will be lots of factors in George McPhee’s decision to keep Wilson or send him back to the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. In this post, I’ll take a look at all of them.

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Stan Galiev’s Breakout Game

galiev-celebrates-goal

Photo credit: Sean Kilpatrick

Washington Capitals prospect Stan Galiev entered last season as a high-rated prospect, a talented Russian forward with lots of promise. After winning multiple championships with the St. John Sea Dogs and dominating the QMJHL, Galiev was rated #29 on Hockey Prospectus Top 100 Prospects list for the 2012-13 season.

Unfortunately, when Galiev first played for the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, he looked lost at times. He struggled on defense, not surprising considering how easy things came for him in juniors. The game was just a little bit too quick for him.

Galiev, however, finished on an upswing after a demotion to the ECHL’s Reading Royals, scoring 47 points in 46 games (including this sick goal). He also scored 11 points in 13 playoff games to help Reading win the 2012-13 championship. Over the summer, Galiev trained with renowned fitness guru Steve Saunders in Amish country along with Dmitry Orlov and Semyon Varlamov. Instead of sulking, a determined Galiev worked even harder.

Because of that hard work, Galiev was arguably the team’s best player in Washington’s first preseason game of the year Saturday. Less than one week into training camp, Galiev might have turned a corner in his development.

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