Photo: Drew Hallowell

In his second full season in the NHL, Evgeny Kuznetsov broke out. The 24-year-old center tallied 20 goals for the first time in his career and led the league in primary assists. He also led the President’s Trophy winning Capitals with 77 points, becoming the first player not named Ovechkin or Backstrom to accomplish that feat in a decade.

Kuznetsov’s big season was not lost on voters. The Chelyabinsk native received one fourth place and one fifth place vote for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Kuznetsov was one of 23 NHL players to receive a vote.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov: 2015-16 Season Review


The truest real talk I could ever speak: The 2015-16 season was the season in which Evgeny Kuznetsov became a star in the NHL.

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Photo: KP.ru

Evgeny Kuznetsov has remained busy since winning a bronze medal at the 2016 World Championship last week. The Caps’ leading point scorer returned home to Chelyabinsk and, on Monday, participated in a youth hockey camp at the Traktor hockey school.

“Today was Evgeny Kuznetsov’s turn to share his experience with our young hockey players,” wrote one onlooker, Alfia, on Instagram. “Once an ordinary guy from Chelyabinsk, Evgeny has become an example for young athletes through his diligence and hard work.”

Kuznetsov led some skating and stick-handling drills before eventually cheesing in a a group picture with the campers.

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2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Photo: IIHF

Team Russia destroyed the United States’ National Team 7-2 in Moscow Sunday. Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov will leave the 2016 World Championiship with bronze medals.

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 19: Former Soviet National Team player Alexander Yakushev and newly elected IIHF Council Member Franz Reindl present the Player of the Game awards to Russia's Alexander Ovechkin #8 and Germany's Thomas Greiss #1 following Russia's 4-1 quarterfinal round win at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Thursday in Moscow, Team Russia fell behind early in the first period to Germany 1-0. But when the Russians came out for the second period, they unleashed what the IIHF described as an “unrelenting onslaught.” Russia put on 37 shots on goal, scored three times in the second stanza, and defeated Germany 4-1.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal in four World Championship games, beating Islanders’ goaltender Thomas Greiss through the pads.

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Over the weekend, Andre Burakovsky took his World Championship bio picture for Team Sweden and it’s… definitely something we need to talk about.

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The Russian National Team remained undefeated Tuesday with the Caps trioka — Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov — on the roster. Russia beat Team Sweden 4-1 to finish second in Group A.

But the victory didn’t come without a scare – especially for Caps fans. In the second period, Evgeny Kuznetsov absorbed a dangerous hit from Swedish center Mikael Backlund as he skated into the offensive zone. Kuznetsov, who did not have the puck, was hit the head and shoulder by Backlund. Kuznetsov, woozy, needed help to get off the ice, but returned several minutes later after applying ice on the bench.

Team Russia head coach Oleg Znarok commented briefly on the play in his post-game press conference.

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One of Caps fans’ biggest fears when players head overseas for international competition after the NHL season is the very real threat of injury. We got a taste of that threat today when Evgeny Kuznetsov had to be helped off the ice during Russia’s match against Sweden in the IIHF World Championships underway in Moscow.

Kuzy went down after taking a shoulder to the head from Mikael Backlund, a Swedish center who plays for the Calgary Flames. Kuznetsov did not have the puck.

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Photos: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

The Caps trioka is now 2-0 in two World Championship play.

Monday at Moscow’s Ice Palace, the Russian National Team defeated Norway 3-0. Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov had two assists. Dima received the primary assist on Ivan Telegin’s second period goal and tallied a secondary on Roman Lyubimov’s third period goal.

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Photo. FHR.ru

If you count the Capitals’ regular season and playoff games, Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s World Championships goal Saturday was his second tally in 32 games. And it was another jaw-dropping example of Kuznetsov’s magical hand-eye coordination. As Kuznetsov flew by a Swiss defenseman, he put a shot on goal before whacking the rebound into the net out of mid air.

The Russian Hockey Federation managed to snap the brilliant above photo, which shows Kuznetsov getting the blade of his stick on the puck from behind the net.

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