Washington Capitals top-rated prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov is out of action for at least a few weeks recovering from his recent shoulder surgery. But another Evgeny Kuznetsov, also a native of Chelyabinsk, is apparently ready to go to work.
The other Kuznetsov is no mercurial youngster with a propensity for spectacular goals and controversial interviews. Instead, he weighs about 20 metric tons, moves at a top speed of 5.5 mph, and does its work on caterpillar tracks rather than skates.
Yeah, someone named a bulldozer after Evgeny Kuznetsov.
The start of the 2013-14 season has not gone very well for Evgeny Kuznetsov. In his first game, against the defending Gagarin Cup champions Dynamo Moscow, he put up a minus-4, garnering special recognition from Traktor’s head coach during the post-game press conference.
But Kuznetsov’s second game turned out to be even more of a disaster. He went hard into the boards just 30 seconds into the game and did not return. Shortly afterwards, Kuznetsov paid a visit to his favorite shoulder specialist, Dr. Emlich in Munich. Kuzya’s left shoulder joint (the same one Dr Emlich fixed a couple of years ago) was found to have sustained a tear in the capsule, and after additional tests today, Kuznetsov underwent a successful surgery.
Evgeny Kuznetsov is RMNB’s cottage industry. We’ve been covering him since mid-to-late 80s, and it’s gone swimmingly well so long as he doesn’t say any words to anyone who is in the business of writing words for other people to read. Kuzya has a bad habit of speaking his mind– particularly when he’s changing his mind every couple of minutes. Kuznetsov’s proclamations of an imminent move to America have been… uhh… let’s say fluctuant.
For the record: it’ll happen either after Traktor’s season ends in the spring or in the fall of 2014. Or never.
Until then, we’ll be here reporting on his (final) season in the KHL with video highlights, stats, and a sense of cool detachment that has allowed us to survive the last few years of Kuzya news without suffering a coronary.
Tom Wilson and Madison Bowey during Caps Development Camp in July. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
[Editor's Note: Fedor has reported on Washington Capitals prospects for RMNB for the last three years. This year we're proud to introduce his prospect rankings. The rankings will be updated three times during the season-- with the goal of updating you on how prospects are or not progressing. The first edition of the rankings come on the second day of Rookie Camp, as Caps prospects jockey for position within the organization.]
The Washington Capitals have re-stocked their prospect pipeline over the past two NHL drafts, giving fans a wealth of new players to get excited about in addition to a few solid free-agent prospects signings.
The 2012 Draft is turning out be a sterling spot on George McPhee’s resume. After picking Filip Forsberg and Tom Wilson in the first round, GMGM made a few strong picks in the latter rounds with Thomas DiPauli, Connor Carrick, Riley Barber, and Christian Djoos– all of whom have been invited to their junior national team camps and left good impressions.
Depth on defense is an area of strength for this crop of talent, with more than a few prospects ready to compete for roster spots as soon as they open.
Below, check out inaugural edition of the RMNB prospect rankings.
The ongoing drama of Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s impending jump to the NHL is relentless. Informally, we call this drama Fifty Shades of Red, one for each of his forecasted dates to end our second Long National [Capital] Nightmare by putting on the red sweater we thought he’d have been wearing for a couple of years by now. Just a few short days ago, as we brought you another pronouncement from Kuznetsov on this subject – the one where he appeared quite open to a new long-term deal with a KHL outfit (not even necessarily his beloved Traktor), I told myself it was time for us to kick the habit. No more Kuzya-Is-Coming-Or-Not translations!
We didn’t last the week. In yet another interview, this time with Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov, Kuzya talks about coming to Washington again, reasons for his recent jersey number change to #84, and a nice surprise he is preparing for his hometown fans. Also, as it turns out, in a few months Kuznetsov will file the necessary paperwork to obtain his American visa. Well, Kuzya, you can mess all you want with reporters, bloggers, followers, fans, coaches, and even GMGM – but you don’t mess with USCIS! That date of entry on your visa application better be real!