As Kuznetsov dazzled in the KHL and at various World Junior Championships, highlights of his most sensational goals and performances were passed around Washington's fan base as if they were folk tales, his burgeoning legend growing exponentially.
That awe-inspiring feeling was not lost on the Capitals' brain trust when Kuznetsov arrived at Verizon Center on Saturday to sign his entry-level contract.
"It's kind of like seeing the Loch Ness Monster when he walked in," general manager George McPhee said. "We've heard of you, but we haven't seen you and there he was. I found it hard to believe he was standing there after all this."