Washington Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov "Not Ready for NHL" Signs KHL Extension

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IMay 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25:  Evgeny Kuznetsov, drafted 26th overall by the Washington Capitals, poses on stage during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Evgeny Kuznetsov was ranked the NHL's top prospect currently not signed to a contract and that will remain the case for the next two years as Kuznetsov is "not ready for the NHL" and he will remain in the KHL for two more years.

Kuznetsov was selected by the Washington Capitals 26th overall in the first round of the  2010 NHL entry draft. He was ranked No.1 in THN's Future Watch, and he was very cryptic in his future plans. It is now official, however, that he will not become a Capital anytime soon.

Here is the latest via  (Puck Daddy).

Kuznetsov spoke with SovSport's Pavel Lysenkov:

(Kuznetsov): "The contract hasn't been signed yet.  But the decision to stay for two more years I have already made. To stay in Russia, in Chelyabinsk. The new contract hasn't been signed yet."

(Lysenkov): How can you explain this decision? Everyone thought you would join the Capitals next year.

(Kuznetsov): "It's tough to say. But firstly I really want to make the Olympics. I think we have a very strong team and I will continue to gain more experience and progress with the team. I am not ready to go to the NHL right now."

Kuznetsov is a highly touted prospect and many thought he would join his friends Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin next season. However, that is no longer the case. The 6'0" center  was an integral part during Russia's comeback in the gold medal game of the WJHC, and he exhibited some great potential.

Skills-wise, Kuznetsov is a speedy skater who has solid offensive upside. However, with Kuznetsov opting to wait two more years, it will be interesting to see what role he will have when he ultimately signs with Washington. This is a tough situation for the Capitals as they have waited for this talented player for two years, and now they will have to wait two more.