Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is headed to Vegas after all for the 2022 NHL All-Star Game after being added to the Metropolitan Division roster on Sunday.
Kuznetsov replaces injured New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox. This marks the second time the Russian will participate in the NHL All-Star Weekend.
Wanting to break out after a tough and inconsistent 2020-21 season, Kuznetsov is on the ultimate revenge tour. He has silenced critics so far with 13 goals and 43 points through 42 games, including points in eight of his last 10 apperances. Kuznetsov has also been helping to carry the top line and has added to his versatile skillset, taking on a penalty-killing role and also working harder on the backcheck. The 29-year-old is on pace for 82 points, one point behind the career-high he set in 2017-18.
READ MORE ON WHN: Kuznetsov Opens Up About Hardships, Comedy And Comeback
Despite his past hardships, Kuznetsov said he has rekindled the joy in his game and doesn’t regret anything. In fact, he’s grateful that he could learn from those moments.
“If you tell me if I can come back and change something, I will say no. That’s unbelievable experience, which I believe I can share it to my kids. I can share it later when I’m gonna be older. I’ve seen some s*** in my life, you know? And I’ve been through some tough moments and you know, some good, bad. I believe that a lot of people have to go through some moments in their life so they can learn, they can get better. And I’m just grateful for everything.”
Kuznetsov joins captain Alex Ovechkin as the two Capitals’ All-Star representatives. Ovechkin is among the league leaders in goals (29) and points (58) and is on pace for a 100-point campaign. Tom Wilson and John Carlson had also earned All-Star consideration.
Roman Josi also earned a place at the All-Star Game, joining the Central Division after Colorado Avalanche forward and Central captain Nathan MacKinnon suffered an injury. Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski will wear the “C” MacKinnon’s place.