"Evgeny is a premier center in the NHL and we are pleased that he will remain in Washington for at least the next eight years," general manager Brian MacLellan. "It is difficult to find a player of his caliber, who is in his prime and makes his teammates better. Evgeny plays with a tremendous skill, speed and tenacity needed to win in the NHL."
While it took some sacrifice to keep the offensive force in Washington, he has proved his worth over the past couple of seasons. The team's announcement noted his 77 points in 2015-16 led the team, making him the first player beside Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom to lead the Capitals in that regard since 2003-04.
In addition to the goalscoring opportunities Kuznetsov creates for himself and teammates, he is particularly durable. He played a full 82 games in each of the past two seasons and 80 in the 2014-15 campaign.
He notched 59 points on 40 assists and 19 goals in 2016-17 and helped the Capitals win their second straight Presidents' Trophy. Considering he is only 25, Kuznetsov figures to be a critical piece of Washington's offense for years to come.