WASHINGTON -- It's been an eventful year for Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who capped it by signing a two-year, $6 million contract Monday.
"I'm very happy to be here two more years," Kuznetsov said Tuesday. "Just looking forward right now. It's always a motivation for you, one or two years. Maybe a long contract is good too, but I've never been in that situation."
In his first full season with Washington, Kuznetsov scored 37 points and secured his spot as its second-line center. He scored seven points in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games and became the third Capitals rookie to score three points in a playoff game (Sergei Gonchar, 1995; and Richard Zednik, 1998).
A long-term contract may happen eventually, but for Kuznetsov, that's something to look forward to. The 23-year-old, who was a restricted free agent, has a lot he wants to prove before that happens.
"Last year we played good hockey and we have to play better," Kuznetsov said. "I have to be better too. I try to focus on my job. If everybody does their job, then probably something good happens. I try to focus on the team game, how many points we get, not by myself."