MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti)
Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov is still considering joining up with the NHL team for next season, he said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Monday.
He had earlier vowed to stay in Russia, where he will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, rather than take up his non-negotiable $1 million Capitals contract.
“They’ve made an offer, a contract, and they’re waiting for my answer. I haven’t promised anything yet,” he said.
“Now we’re all waiting for the end of the season.”
A move to the NHL would not necessarily mean a big step up in the quality of the competition compared to the mostly-Russian KHL, he suggested.
“We have a very high level. It’s completely possible that our league will soon reach the level of the NHL.”
Last month, Kuznetsov told the KHL's TV channel that he had decided to stay in the league.
"My decision has been reached. It is my intention to continue my career in the KHL," he said.
Kuznetsov’s team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, won the Continental Cup as regular season champion, but lost the Eastern Conference final series Friday to Siberian rivals Avangard Omsk.
Kuznetsov averaged close to a point a game in the KHL regular season, with 19 goals and 21 assists in 49 games.
He was captain of the Russian team that won the World Junior Championships in 2010, and was the Capitals’ No. 1 draft pick that year.
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