Caps May Lose Top Prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov to Russian KHL

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst IFebruary 24, 2012

Capitals' Russian insider Dmitry Chesnokov, who has been spot on in the past about Capitals moves, has recently tweeted that Caps' top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov is considering an extended stay in the Kontinental Hockey League if offered a new contract.

Dmitry Chesnokov @dchesnokov

#caps prospect kuznetsov: "there were talks with #caps this season, and now there's a pause. Traktor made an offer, i'm waiting."

Also tweeted from Chesnokov from Kuznetsov;

Kuznetsov wants "to be sure you'd stay in one place, develop in the same city, plan ahead." #caps

In what could be a follow up story to what Nashville star winger Alexander Radulov pulled a few years back, Kuznetsov is reportedly very interested in staying in his native Russia if offered a long term contract by Traktor Chelyabinsk.

If Traktor were to offer Kuznetsov a long term deal the Caps' farm system would be devastated.

Kuznetsov is widely considered to be one of if not the best prospects in the world, not currently in the NHLListed as the 18th best prospect (most current update as of October 11, 2011) by HockeysFuture and number one on the Washington Capitals' list of prospects, Kuznetsov's decision has long term impacts for Washington.

Alexander Semin is coming upon the cusp of unrestricted free agency and his contract demands most likely will not align with what Washington is likely willing to give him. Once a 40 goal scorer, Semin has not played up expectations and has been the subject of multiple trade rumors. Many figured Kuznetsov to be his eventual replacement, stepping in as a rookie on to the Capitals' top six and making an instant impact.

Kuznetsov is an unbelievable talent who has won Gold and Silver back to back in recent World Junior Championships with Russia and leads the KHL in game winning goals.