Following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL offseason is now in full swing. The 2023 NHL Draft and free agency are just a couple of weeks away, but before that, the trade stoves are burning hot. There are many trade targets on the market this offseason, one of them being Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Kuznetsov just finished his 10th season with the Capitals and has become a major piece of the team. In 680 NHL games, the 31-year-old Russian forward has 165 goals and 551 points. He also came up huge in Washington's Stanley Cup run in 2018, scoring 12 goals and a league-high 32 points in the playoffs to finish as the runner-up for the Conn Smythe Trophy, only behind Alexander Ovechkin.
However, the 2022-23 season was far from Kuznetsov's finest. In 81 games, he had just 12 goals and 55 points and had a career-worst -26 rating. His shooting percentage was also a career worst at just 7%, down from 11.5% the previous two years. With his production seemingly declining, him being on the wrong side of 30 and carrying a hefty $7.8 million cap hit for the next two seasons, it makes sense why the Capitals could move on from Kuznetsov.
Actually, Kuznetsov has been in trade talks for a while now, but it seems more real than ever this offseason. With the star center seemingly on the market, what teams should pursue him?
Without further ado, here are three of the best fits for Kuznetsov in a potential trade.
3. Nashville Predators
Nashville had been a very consistent team in the last decade or so, with eight straight playoff appearances and making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. That came to an end this season though, as the Predators missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014 after selling at the trade deadline.