Kuznetsov is the Caps' highest-ranked prospect as well as The Hockey News' top-ranked prospect in their annual prospect issue. The 26th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Kuznetsov has 19 goals and 41 points for Chelyabinsk Traktor.
In December 2011, General Manager George McPhee said that he expected Kuznetsov to leave the KHL for the NHL next season, but apparently that might not be the case. Kuznetsov has impressed on the worldwide stage in recent years as a member of Russia's World Junior Championship teams, including a nine-point performance in a 14-0 win over Latvia. Not having Kuznetsov would be a huge blow to Washington's future plans.