Washington Capitals heart Yevgeny Kuznetsov is certainly one of the most offensively-gifted players in the complete National Hockey League. The 30-year-old Russian is a two-time all-star in the league and has recorded 4 70-plus level seasons in his profession.
So, it is secure to say he is aware of a superb hockey participant when he sees one.
Kuzy was requested by former Caps ahead Andrei Nikolishin, throughout a “Slippery Ice” interview, to call who he believes are the three best players at the moment plying their commerce in the NHL.
“(Auston) Matthews, (Connor) McDavid, and the third will probably be troublesome,” Kuznetsov mentioned by way of a Google Translation. “I might do – Matthews, McDavid, and Brayden Point. I might put all three.”
The first two names that Kuzy listed are fairly apparent ones as Matthews and McDavid are the two most up-to-date Hart Trophy winners which is the award given out to the league’s MVP. Matthews scored 60 targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs final season and is a giant fan of Kuznetsov’s in his personal proper. McDavid has recorded back-to-back 100-plus level seasons and is properly on his method to one other this season.
“McDavid is clearly from one other planet,” Kuznetsov mentioned. “Now everybody about (Erling) Haaland from Manchester City says, ‘He will not be a person, he will not be a person.’ You look right here and perceive what sort of alien we are taking part in with.”
The Haaland that Kuzy speaks of is the Norwegian monster celebrity terrorizing the English Premier League this season with 18 targets in simply 13 appearances on the soccer pitch for Manchester City. Similarly, McDavid already has 15 targets in simply 17 video games this yr for the Edmonton Oilers.
While Kuznetsov agrees with Nikolishin that McDavid is the quickest participant in the league, he says Matthews dominates in a distinct, extra “technical” vogue.
“And Matthews – he has aptitude,” Kuznetsov mentioned. “He doesn’t appear to be pushing quick, however when there’s a second – a aim. He has a imaginative and prescient for hockey.
However, it was the third participant, Tampa Bay’s Point, that Kuznetsov listed that was most fascinating to Nikolishin. “Do you want the method Point performs?” the former Cap requested.
“Yes,” Kuznetsov replied. “It appears to me that he does not care in any respect if he will rating, he will not rating. He will at all times plow, work, drag the puck into the zone. He will not be grasping, he will at all times give again. He does not do an excessive amount of and skates nice. His considering is hockey. Kucherov was fortunate – they’ve a connection like they at all times see one another with their eyes closed.”
Point performed a large function in Tampa Bay’s run of back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021. In these postseasons, he tallied 56 factors in 46 playoff video games. His 2018-19 season was arguably even higher as he recorded single-season, profession highs in targets (41) and complete factors (92).
The 26-year-old, one-time NHL all-star has but to be acknowledged with any particular person silverware thus far in his profession, however he’ll at the least have the admiration of certainly one of his best friends in Kuznetsov.
Headline picture: Alan Dobbins/RMNB