main page

player profiles

2009 NHL Draft

game worn jerseys



about us

contact us



Affiliated Sites:
McKeen's Hockey Prospects

Hockey's Future
Back >>
Author:  (
Translated By: Alessandro Seren Rosso
Date: 07/30/2011
Evgeny Kuznetsov: «Playing two-three years in the AHL is not for me»

2012 National Hockey League (NHL)

In this interview, the young prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals) talks about the rehab after his shoulder surgery, about his example Sergei Fedorov and explained that he’s more worthy than Ovechkin in Playstation hockey.

- Not long ago you underwent a shoulder surgery in Germany. One year ago you said that the first surgery wasn’t that successful. How is it going this time?
– Let’s start saying that at first I went there to get a visit. The doctor didn’t want me to have a surgery. He said that the surgery should have been quite long. Then he decided to perform the surgery and everything went pretty well. He said that he managed to do everything he had in mind. I had a bone ache and so he made some new piece, so now the shoulder is safe. The important is now wait some time to get a complete rehab.
– According to the forecasts, you should miss about three months.
– 17 weeks. And 13 and half are gone already.
– Are you practicing now?
– Even on the [exercise] bicycle I can’t spend more than 15 minutes. But to speak the truth, sometimes I hide from other people and push the pedals while no one is seeing (laughs).
– I’ve heard that you might miss the start of the season. Is this true?
– Everything depends on how the rehabilitation process goes. For now I’m having some therapeutical physical training, I do many things. My hand is almost fully fit now. In a couple of weeks I will start full practice regime. I will start with some bicycle, running, and so on. Then we’ll see. I think that they will let me play a bit during the Romazan memorial tournament. Maybe a few minutes only. We’ll see how I’ll feel. The doctor told me that it’s impossible to have a timetable. It depends on how one feels. If [the shoulder] won’t hurt, then I can play. If it hurts, I can’t.
– Why you had the surgery in April only and not directly after the end of the season?
– Because I picked up that injury in Smolensk, playing with Team Russia against Belarus. I didn’t get a hit or something. I simply injured my shoulder. Then in Moscow I visited a doctor and he said that I needed an operation fast, or it would have been too late. If it wasn’t for this, I’d have play at the World Championship. But I decided to undergo the surgery anyway so that I wouldn’t miss the start of the next season. If it wasn’t like that, then probably I wouldn’t be able to skate at the WJC. If, of course, they will invite me.
– After the WJC triumph it was reported that some big KHL teams, like SKA St. Petersburg, Salavat Yulaev Ufa and Metallurg Magnitogorsk wanted to trade for you. Were these reports only rumors?
– Let’s say that there was some truth. [Traktor’s head coach Valery] Belousov told me that 11 KHL teams wanted to trade for me for the upcoming playoffs. But if I had to go somewhere else for the playoffs, then I would be a player of that team. In the KHL there are no “loans”, but trades only. And in this case then there would be no guarantees that I could get back to Traktor. It’s a big risk. This is why I decided not to change team. I talked with my coach and we agreed that I will spend the next season 100% in Chelyabinsk. I am still under the 5-year deal I signed long ago. This will be its final year.
– But then you could play with many players from those teams playing in the KHL All-Star game. Was this a surprise?
– I was getting back home, then my agent called me and told: “So, did you see?” And I: “What do you mean?” So he replied: “Look on the internet.” So I seen that they selected me to play with [Sergei] Fedorov and [Petri] Kontiola. Then I understood that they organized everything to attract young people. Speaking the truth, I went there not because of my game, but simply because I’m young.
– After the WJC the infamous airport incident happened. Do you have enough of this talking after six months?
– I always speak the truth about it. I tell everything that happened. Only stupid people can’t believe that nothing happened. But I don’t have enough of that. Normal people understand me. If a team wins, then the players are going to celebrate. You can’t be offended if we won Canada 5-3. It wasn’t even like that. We won 5-0 the third period. And we got some rage for that. It wasn’t fair.
– Where you angry when you seen that on TV and people were criticizing the National team?
– I’d like to say a couple of words in that lawyer’s face, or who that guy was. I am this kind of person – I speak in your face only, without being ashamed.
– Your former Team Russia partner Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues) was featured in a music video. Should we wait your participation too?
– If they asked me, then I’ll go. But no one called me. This means that I’m not a player of Tarasenko’s level.
– For the Sochi Olympic Games they are planning doing some films about sports. If they will do one with you, who should play your role?
– Probably Brad Pitt or Jackie Chan. Minimum Arnold Schwarzenegger.
– Are you planning to write a book? It would be interesting to read your aphorisms collection. – When I’ll quit hockey then I will write them all. But not now. One could write a lot about what you can’t tell the press. Especially about kids hockey.
– After the WJC finals in Buffalo you said that you’ll marry bringing your gold medal. Why you didn’t do that?
– How can you know? Maybe it was under my shirt…
– So did you have it or not?
– That’s a secret.
– When were you more nervous, during your marriage or before the finals in Buffalo?
– During neither. They are different things. The finals weren’t up to me, but up to the guys, the whole team. And about the marriage, I had nothing to worry about, I was what was going to happen and I was ready.
– This year you also played with Team Russia and had three points in three Euro Tour games. Are you satisfied about that?
– If we won, then I'll be satisfied, but …I truly wanted to take part to the WC. If it wasn’t for the surgery I would go there, even at my expenses just to support the guys. It was among my season’s goals.
– You played in every Team Russia, senior, junior and U18 teams. Did you find big differences?
– How come “every”? I am yet to play for the women team! (laughs). Well, there are a lot of differences. Of course the first one is the players’ level. The senior national team features adult players, and they think in a different way. It’s easier to play there because you play with experienced guys. With junior teams it’s harder because everyone wants to get attention on himself.
– You decided to stay in Chelyabinsk for a further year, even if you could move overseas. Why?
– It was a hard situation. I decided to go, but then everything changed. So I promised coach Belousov and the Chelyabinsk Region government that I would stay for another year. Thanks to them I got a lot of attention. They gifted me a flat after the WJC, I simply had to stay. But anyway, if we realistically consider the situation, it’s too early for me to go there. I want to go to the once I will be ready to be a main team player. Playing 2-3 years in the AHL is not for me.
– So for now you get acquainted with the NHL with the Playstation.
– Yes, when I play, my hands even tremble. I want to go there as fast as possible.
– What team do you play with?
– Washington. I get all the Russians, the young ones as well, and I play. I created myself and I play on a line ith Ovechkin.
– And who scores more?
– Me, of course (laughs). But only virtually.
– Capitals’ fans can’t wait for you to come.
– Well, in a year. I don’t know if I’ll play with the Caps from the very start, but I plan to play there already the next season. Ovechkin told me that he will be helping me with the flat. I will live a couple of months at his place, then I’ll get my flat. I already surfed the internet to search the prices.
– Are they much expansive than in Chelyabinsk?
– Yes, they are, but there is no sense in buying. It’s better to rent. The important is that it should be near to the practice arena. My agent will help me with the car. There won’t be problems. They told me: “Just come, and we’ll set everything.”

Related Player Profiles: . E.Kuznetsov V.Tarasenko
NHL Clubhouses
NHL Entry Draft Results
 2010,  2009,  2008,  2007,  2006,  2005,  2004,  2003,  2002,  2001,  2000