Evgeny Kuznetsov reveals who he thinks are the three best players in the NHL
Washington Capitals Center Yevgeny Kuznetsov is one of the most offensively talented players in the entire National Hockey League. The 30-year-old Russian is a two-time All-Star in the league and has recorded four 70-plus point seasons in his career.
So it’s safe to say you know a good hockey player when you see one.
former Chiefs forward Andrei Nikolishin asked Kuzy. during a “Slippery Ice” interview.to name who he thinks are the three best players currently plying their trade in the NHL.
“(Auston) Matthews, (Connor) McDavid and third will be tough,” Kuznetsov said through a Google translation. “I would: Matthews, McDavid and Brayden Point. I would put all three.”
The first two names Kuzy listed are pretty obvious, as Matthews and McDavid are the two most recent winners of the Hart Trophy, which is the award given to the league’s MVP. Matthews scored 60 goals with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season and is a big fan of Kuznetsov in its own right. McDavid has posted consecutive 100+ seasons and is on track for another this season.
“McDavid is obviously from another planet,” Kuznetsov said. “Now everyone about Manchester City’s (Erling) Haaland is saying: ‘He’s not a man, he’s not a man’. Look here and understand what kind of alien we’re playing with.”
The Haaland Kuzy is talking about is the Norwegian superstar who is terrorizing the English Premier League this season with 18 goals in just 13 appearances at Manchester City’s football ground. Likewise, McDavid already has 15 goals in just 17 games this year for the Edmonton Oilers.
While Kuznetsov agrees with Nikolishin that McDavid is the fastest player in the league, he says Matthews dominates in a different, more “technical” way.
“And Matthews, he’s got style,” Kuznetsov said. “He doesn’t seem like he’s pressing fast, but when there’s a moment, a goal. He’s got a hockey vision.”
However, it was the third player, Tampa Bay’s Point, that Kuznetsov listed as most interesting to Nikolishin. “Do you like how Point plays?” the old Chief asked.
“Yes,” Kuznetsov replied. “It seems to me that he doesn’t care at all whether he will score or not. He will always plow, work, drag the puck into the zone. It is not greedy, it will always return. It doesn’t do too much and skates very well. His thought is hockey. Kucherov was lucky: they have a connection as if they always see each other with their eyes closed.”
Point was instrumental in Tampa Bay’s back-to-back Stanley Cup runs in 2020 and 2021. In those postseasons, he had 56 points in 46 playoff games. His 2018-19 season was arguably even better as he posted single-season highs in goals (41) and total points (92).
The 26-year-old, once an NHL star, has yet to be recognized with any individual silverware so far in his career, but at least he’ll have the admiration of one of his best teammates in Kuznetsov.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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