Evgeny Kuznetsov is on a different level this season.
The 26-year-old Russian forward is establishing himself as one of the most dynamic and electric players in the game on a Washington squad that already boasts the immensely talented Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
Kuznetsov showed off his ridiculous skill with a wicked no-look snipe from a bad angle against Frederik Andersen and the Leafs on Saturday evening:
Kuznetsov was coming off an impressive outing where he ran a clinic against Vegas, putting up four points in a commanding 5-2 victory.
Through five contests this season, Kuznetsov has already racked up four goals and eight points.
The flashy forward is picking up right where he left off after leading the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs in scoring with 12 goals and 20 assists as Washington won the Stanley Cup.
The nasty goal against Toronto comes after his teammates have been singing his praise in the early goings of the season:
“I think he’s up there with the top five players in the league, and I don’t know, he just doesn’t get the recognition for some reason,” Oshie told the Washington Post.
Kuznetsov reportedly smiled when he was told what Oshie said, and was then asked about the possibility of winning the Hart Trophy — given to the NHL’s MVP.
“I don’t give a (expletive) about that,” Kuznetsov said. “To be MVP, you have to work hard 365 (days) in a year, but I’m not ready for that. I want to have fun and I want to make those risky plays when sometimes you don’t have a play and you guys don’t understand every time those plays. It’s not easy to make. But to be MVP in this league, you have to play even better. You have to go next level. It’s not easy. More important, you have to stay focused 365, but that’s not my style.”
Kuznetsov is sure to keep lighting up the highlight-reel this season, and it doesn’t seem like he cares if he gets recognized for it.