Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov could pull an Ilya Kovalchuk and return to Russia once he hits 30 years of age.
Interesting in that the now 21-year-old Kuznetsov, the Capitals first-round pick from the 2010 NHL Draft, has actually yet to play a game in the National Hockey League, or in any league outside of Russia.
He has spent three previous seasons with Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL.
Earlier this month, Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk retired from the NHL at the age of 30.
A few days later, the KHL’s SKA Saint Petersburg announced it had signed Kovalchuk to a four-year contract.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.