Capitals: Fun facts about Evgeny Kuznetsov ahead of NHL Player Gaming Challenge

We are just moments away from Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals taking on Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers.

As we wait for the big matchup to take place on the NHL Player Gaming Challenge let’s take a look at some facts about Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals as well as his opponent.

Drafted one year apart in the first round, Kuznetsov and Jonathan Huberdeau each have made a name for themselves in the NHL.

Kuznetsov was drafted 26th overall in 2010 while Huberdeau was taken third overall in 2011. Kuznetsov led the playoffs in scoring in 2018 in Washington’s run to the Stanley Cup while Huberdeau became the Panthers all-time scoring leader earlier this season.

First let’s learn about Kuznetsov’s opponent. Huberdeau scored on the first shot of his NHL career on the second shift against Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes. He finished that game with a three point performance and would later go on to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie thanks to 31 points in just 48 games.

Huberdeau is the franchise leader in assists with 289 as well as points with 437 and ranks fifth in goals with 148 while sitting sixth in games played with 536. His best season came in 2018-19 when he ranked second on the club with 92 points, tied for the third most in a season in franchise history.

Kuznetsov scored arguably the biggest goal in Capitals history in overtime of Game 6 of the second round to defeat the back to back defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. His golden goal came nearly two years ago to the day and we looked back on it on Thursday.

Kuznetsov did the bird celly or “eagle” goal celebration with that goal which he does for his daughter. We predicted that we’ll see that bird celly at least a few times throughout the afternoon.

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Kuznetsov had 32 points in 24 games to finish as the 2018 playoff scoring leader to help the Capitals on their way to their first Stanley Cup. Kuznetsov’s 32 points was the highest point total in a single postseason since his fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin had 36 points during the 2009 playoffs.

Today’s game will take place at 3 p.m. on Twitch. Good luck Kuzy!