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Draft Prospect Profile #16 - Evgeny Kuznetsov

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Position: Center
Age: 18
Date of Birth: May 19, 1992
Place of Birth: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 175
Shoots: Left

Kuznetsov is a highly talented Russian center currently playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL. He is the exact definition of high-risk, high-reward. First, there's the threat of either not coming over or bolting back to Russia if he doesn't get his way. Then, there is the fact that he is one of the most inconsistent players in the draft. When he's on- he's explosive and can put up gobs of offense. The problem is, he's not "on" as often as he needs to be. A team could get a superstar if he slips.

2009/2010 Regular Season Stats:

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
35 2 7 9
N/A 10

 

Scouting Report (The Scouting Report):

With a talent like Kuznetsov potentially lurking in the middle of the first round, he could be an absolute gem to pick up. The 17 year old Russian has spent the season getting limited ice time in the KHL with Traktor, before having a solid showing at the World Juniors, scoring two goals for the Russians. He’s one of the most raw talented players available in this draft, and has the ability to make plays in the offensive zone that very few others can make. He’s still pretty raw this point, and he needs to add some much needed strength, but Russian factor aside, he’ll be a very intriguing prospect to watch in the second half, especially at the Under 18’s.

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:

There's no way that the Jackets would use a high pick on him due to the risks associated with him- but they have shown in the past with Maksim Mayorov that if a highly ranked Russian slips in the draft, they will snatch him up. Kuznetsov would be a top six centre, who would excel on the powerplay. Paired with a winger like Nikita Filatov he would be absolutely lethal.

Kuznetsov in Action: