Evgeny Kuznetsov

Evgeny Kuznetsov

30-Year-Old CenterC
Washington Capitals
2022 Fantasy Outlook
The Washington forward group is comprised of a bunch of aging veterans, so it was nice to see Kuznetsov put together a bounce-back campaign in 2021-22. His 78 points were the second-most of his career and his most since the 2017-18 season. Kuznetsov tallied more than 20 goals (24) for the fourth time, while his 208 shots on goal were a new high-water mark. Kuznetsov has been up-and-down in terms of durability for much of his career, but a point-per-game mark should be within reach this coming season if he receives the same usage (20:17 of ice time per game, including 3:44 with the man advantage) he got last year. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $62.4 million contract extension with the Capitals in July of 2017.
Bags apple Wednesday
CWashington Capitals
November 24, 2022
Kuznetsov tallied an assist and two shots during Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win against the Flyers.
ANALYSIS
Kuznetsov set up Sonny Milano for the game-tying marker late in the third period as the Capitals snapped a four-game skid. While goals have been hard to come by this season (two in 20 games), the 30-year-old has four helpers in his last seven games and could see further improvement with the return of T.J. Oshie to the lineup.
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2022–23 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    18:22
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    3:16
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:10
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2020–21
16:34
2:29
0:02
2021–22
20:17
3:44
1:07
2022–23
18:22
3:16
1:10
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Kuznetsov is a bit of a puzzle. The 29-year-old is undeniably talented, but his role with the Capitals shrank last season as he failed to average at least three minutes per game of power-play time for the first time in four years and saw his lowest average ice time in general since 2014-15. He has the skills to be a point-a-game player, and he's able to both create his own offense and set up linemates for plus goal-scoring opportunities, but the Caps haven't been able to find wingers he meshes well with recently, and Nicklas Backstrom remains locked in as Alex Ovechkin's center. Kuznetsov could still easily bounce back to his prior level of production, but his range of outcomes has become surprisingly volatile given the trajectory his career seemed to be on just a couple seasons ago.
It feels like he's been around forever, but the 28-year-old Kuznetsov is still very much in his prime even though he scored just 19 goals and 52 points last season. It was his lowest total in three years, but over the past six seasons Kuznetsov ranks 25th in points (380) and 41st in points per game (0.82) out of 184 players who've scored at least 100 points. Kuznetsov offers point-per-game upside, making him an early-round fantasy asset, but he also played less with Alex Ovechkin last year than in previous seasons, and that will hinder Kuznetsov's ability to rack up assists in 2020-21. Kuznetsov offers little else outside of high-end point totals at the deepest forward position in fantasy, but he'll still be worth picking up in the early-to-mid rounds in most formats.
After finishing as the leading scorer in the 2017-18 playoffs, expectations for Kuznetsov were sky-high entering 2018-19. Despite a healthy 72 points in 82 games, the 26-year-old Russian managed just four goals and 26 points - with just six on the power-play - on the road. The 27-year-old is one of the most gifted offensive players in the league and owns enough talent and opportunity to challenge for the Art Ross Trophy if all goes well. His road woes are likely just an outlier and he should be one of the first centers off the board once again in 2019-20.
Kuznetsov entered the 2017-18 season as a talented offensive playmaker; he exited a legitimate superstar. The 26-year-old Russian proved worthy of the eight-year, $62.4 million extension he signed in July of 2017, tallying a career-high 27 goals and 83 points in 79 games. But it was during the playoffs that the pivot found an even higher gear, scoring 12 goals and leading all NHLers with 32 points in 24 playoff contests. With a Stanley Cup ring on his resume, Kuznetsov has established himself as one of the top players in the league and looks to build on a banner year centering the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson to start things off in 2018-19. Kuznetsov should be one of the top producers in standard formats and one of the first centers off the board.
After following up his 77-point breakout with a disappointing 59-point encore last season, Kuznetsov is well on his way to living up to the "enigmatic Russian" stereotype. The Capitals don't seem to think so, though, as they committed a boatload of money to him on an eight-year contract extension in the offseason. The question for fantasy owners is, what's next? Well, at 25 years old, Kuznetsov should be on the rise, not in decline; after all, his health has been great and his talent has never been in question. Look for him to bounce back up into nearly point-per-game production even though he’s technically a second-liner, and Kuznetsov will probably bring winger Andre Burakovsky’s point total up along with him.
Kuznetsov busted out last year for an extraordinary 77-point breakout campaign, but it ended in disappointment when he went the final 20 games of the regular season without scoring a goal, then offered up just two points in 12 playoff games. That’s no small part of the reason that the Caps – considered one of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup – got bumped in the second round by the eventual championship-winning Penguins. Nonetheless, it’s hard for those who drafted the Russian center to complain, as he rewarded his fantasy owners in spades, finishing among the league leaders in rating with a plus-27 to go with his 20 goals and 57 helpers. Now it’s on the playmaking center to show he can do it again – and with Washington returning most of its roster from last year, there doesn’t seem to be any reason he won’t. Perhaps Kuznetsov will see a small downtick in scoring if Nicklas Backstrom stays healthy all year, but the 24-year-old Russian could also see a sizeable uptick if he ends up skating on the No. 1 line alongside goal-scoring extraordinaire Alex Ovechkin. But that’s all a matter of degrees; no matter how the playing time shakes out, this is a great time to own Kuznetsov in fantasy.
Hallelujah – the Caps’ second-line center problem has been solved. Or so it seems. Kuznetsov scuffled early in the season, delivering 24 points in his first 63 games and looking nothing like a first-round pick (or a second-line center, for that matter). But something happened in March – a light bulb went on for the creative center. He delivered 13 points in his last 17 games and added another seven in 14 playoff games. Those seven actually came in a nine-game stretch. So has the breakout occurred, or is it actually in progress? We think it’s the latter – Kuznetsov’s still got a lot to learn. He isn’t exactly good in the faceoff circle or his own zone, and his possession numbers are a work in progress (to the say the least). But he’ll have better linemates this season -- perhaps including Justin Williams, a guy who makes those around him better -- and should be expected to continue developing into an offensive force.
The toast of the town upon his arrival late in the season, Kuznetsov wasted no time in reinvigorating a fanbase in desperate need of hope. Despite playing mostly fourth-line minutes, the highly skilled winger from Russia managed nine points in his first 17 games. Having bulked up and honed his offensive skills in the KHL, the 22-year-old is poised for a greater role with the Capitals this season. Hoping he can fill the void left by Mikhail Grabovski’s departure in free agency, Kuznetsov will likely get a crack as the team’s second-line center, a position he has some familiarity with. With the size, speed, and offensive skills fans drool over, Kuznetsov has excellent sleeper potential and is an early favorite to challenge for the Calder Trophy in 2014-2015.
Kuznetsov, 21 is the best prospect in the Capitals system. He had a solid year with Chelyabinsk (KHL) with 44 points in 51 games. Kuznetsov was added 42 PIM which underscored a new toughness in his game, a most welcomed development. Kuznetsov has just one year left on his KHL contract and he fully intends to play for Washington in 2014-15. Kuznetsov is a true blue chip prospect who should be owned in all keeper leagues.
One of the stars of last winter's World Junior Championships, Kuznetsov's place in North American hockey this coming season was the subject of much debate. Would the immensely talented center join the Capitals or would he remain in Russia, playing professionally in he KHL? Kuznetsov signed a two-year deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk to remain in the KHL through the 2014 season. He remains one of the best hockey players currently not in the NHL, as the Caps would love to have him in the District.
The most recent comparison Kuznetsov received was that of fellow Russian Evgeni Malkin. That is what his head coach sees, so for the Caps if that is pretty accurate they seem to have another Russian star in the making. He made the all-star game in the KHL and was the youngest player to ever be selected. He still has a year left on his contract in the KHL, but when this kid gets his chance he has all the potential to be a star.
Kuznetsov was the first round selection in this past NHL entry draft, continuing the Russian connection. He is talented enough to play in the NHL, but he has a few years remaining on his contract in the KHL and that will give him some time to improve those skills. He will be in the NHL in the coming years though.
More Fantasy News
Adds helper to rout
CWashington Capitals
November 12, 2022
Kuznetsov collected an assist in Friday's 5-1 win over the Lightning.
ANALYSIS
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Erupts with four points
CWashington Capitals
November 7, 2022
Kuznetsov scored twice and added two assists, all on the power play, in Monday's 5-4 win over the Oilers.
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Slides power-play helper
CWashington Capitals
October 31, 2022
Kuznetsov notched a power-play assist and two shots on goal in Monday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Hurricanes.
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Suspension over
CWashington Capitals
October 21, 2022
Kuznetsov has completed his one-game suspension and will return to the Washington lineup Saturday against the Kings.
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Suspended for one game
CWashington Capitals
Suspension
October 18, 2022
The NHL suspended Kuznetsov for one game for high-sticking Vancouver's Kyle Burroughs.
ANALYSIS
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