3 Capitals players who must step up following Evgeny Kuznetsov trade

The Caps welcome Kuzy and the Canes to town Friday nigh
Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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It's been two weeks since Evgeny Kuznetsov was traded by the Washington Capitals to the Carolina Hurricanes. Now the Capials will welcome their ex Stanley Cup hero as a visitor for the first time ever on Friday night when the Caps host the Canes. Here are 3 Caps players that need to step up now that Kuznetsov is gone.

Hendrix Lapierre, Washington Capitals
Hendrix Lapierre, Washington Capitals / Derek Cain/GettyImages

#3 Hendrix Lapierre

Number three is Hendrix Lapierre. He sometimes centers top six minutes but last night he centered the third line with Max Pacioretty and Sonny Milano to his side. The 2020 first rounder helps provide depth and make fourth liner Nic Dowd's life a little bit easier. Lapierre scored in the Caps win over the Calgary Flames the other night and so far has eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 37 games played this season.

Lapierre scored in his NHL debut in 2021 but was sent back overseas after six games. Then he was an impact player that helped the Heshey Bears win the Calder Cup last spring. Now he looks to make some noise this spring and perhaps get his first taste of NHL playoff action.

It'll be a tall order which is why Lappy is one of the keys to step up.