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Evgeny Kuznetsov signs eight-year, $62.4 million contract with Capitals

25-year-old center gets deal worth $7.8 annually

NHL.com @NHL

Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov signed an eight-year, $62.4 million contract with the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

 

[RELATED: Marcus Johansson traded to Devils from Capitals | NHL Free Agent Tracker]

 

"Evgeny is a premier center in the NHL and we are pleased that he will remain in Washington for at least the next eight years," general manager Brian MacLellan said. "It is difficult to find a player of his caliber, who is in his prime and makes his teammates better. Evgeny plays with a tremendous skill, speed and tenacity needed to win in the NHL."

Kuznetsov, 25, became a restricted free agent Saturday. The contract has an average annual value of $7.8 million.

Kuznetsov had 59 points (19 goals, 40 assists) in 82 games to finish third on the Capitals in scoring last season. He set NHL career highs in goals (20), assists (57) and points (77) in 2015-16, when he led Washington in points, assists and plus/minus (plus-27).

Selected by the Capitals in the first round (No. 26) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Kuznetsov has 182 points (53 goals, 129 assists) in 261 regular-season NHL games and 11 goals and eight assists in 39 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Later Sunday, the Capitals traded forward Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils for two picks in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Capitals have about $9 million in NHL salary cap space remaining, according to CapFriendly.com, and restricted free agent forward Andre Burakovsky and goalie Philipp Grubauer to be re-signed. 

Washington re-signed right wing T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46 million contract on June 23, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a six-year, $30.6 million contract on June 30. They then lost free agent defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (New York Rangers) and Karl Alzner (Montreal Canadiens), and right wing Justin Williams (Carolina Hurricanes) on July 1.

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