Evgeni Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals' first round draft pick, is one of the hottest players in the KHL at the moment. He has 41 points in 48 games for Traktor and is one of the leaders in the KHL overall.
But on Friday, his season appeared to come to an end.
During the last minute of Friday's game between Traktor and Spartak, Kuznetsov was skating up the ice and was checked hard along the boards. Right after the check, he fell down and was in terrible pain, slamming his hands and his stick against the ice.
He couldn't get up, laying on his leg that was somewhat twisted, according to Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov, who broke the story. The game was finally stopped and Kuznetsov was carried off the ice on a stretcher.
Details are scarce right now, but Lysenkov and other sources tell us Kuznetsov was taken to a local hospital right away for an MRI. It is suspected that he tore his MCL and/or ACL. We're in no way Dr. House, but the early word is that Kuznetsov is lost for the remainder of the season and, depending on the MRI results, may need more medical attention, including a surgery. Traktor Coach Belousov in the postgame press conference couldn't tell the specifics.
The Capitals are eager to have the talented youngster in the nation's capital to add offense and special skill. He is certainly NHL ready. There's also a bidding war over him in the KHL, with Salavat Yulaev, Alexander Radulov's team, joining negotiations to land the forward as the team is expecting to lose Alexander Radulov to the NHL this summer. Kuznetsov, in a recent interview to ProSport magazine, said he'd stay in the KHL if he was offered a 10-year deal.
We'll update when more information becomes available.