It's been four years since the Washington Capitals selected Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov 26th overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft. Now 21 years-old, with 210 career regular-season KHL games under his belt, Kuznetsov collected his first NHL points in an impressive performance on Friday night, tallying three assists in a 4-3 winning effort against the Vancouver Canucks.
The highly-touted prospect finally signed an entry-level contract and made his NHL debut on March 10th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kuznetsov now finds himself on the league's best power play with the league's best goal-scorer, fellow Russian Alexander Ovechkin, who scored with the man advantage Friday night to give No. 92 his first NHL assist.
But it was Kuznetsov's second assist, a cross-ice slap pass, that best exemplified why he may have been worth the wait for Capitals fans:
The six-foot, 1172 lb. forward also showcased some ability working below the net on his third assist:
(Both GIFs via russianmachineneverbreaks.com)