Last year was a breakout year for Evgeny Kuznetsov as he ranked 10th on the scoring leaderboard. With a record year for goals (20), assists (57) and points (77), Kuznetsov was entering the 2016-2017 with high expectancies. Currently carrying a $3.000.000 cap hit, Evgeny is playing the second season of his 2-years contract.
While Kuznetsov hasn't been great this season, he's still an offensive dynamo and is expected to see a major raise in salary for his next deal. With 10 contracts coming to terms for the Washington Capitals, it wouldn't be a surprise if the russian player ended up traded by March 1st.
"I would of said last season at this time [Evgeny Kuznetsov] was a lock to get a long-term deal and be a fixture for the Washington Capitals. I’m not sure they’re as convinced anymore" said Friedman. In the end, the Washington Capitals might have to choose between defense and offense. Kuznetsov's poor playoff performance last season might weigh in the decision.