The unusual timing of this year’s hockey “offseason” in North America has taken some getting used to for most NHL players and fans. However, the unique hiatus from the game has also provided a few welcomed opportunities for players who aren’t normally home during this time of year.
Washington Capitals star-center Evgeny Kuznetsov seems to be thoroughly enjoying his autumn away from the game, spending time with local children, teaching them the game of hockey, much the same way he learned the game.
Last Friday Kuznetsov participated in the ceremonial opening of an outdoor hockey rink in his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia. On Tuesday Kuznetsov visited the Traktor children’s school in Chelyabinsk to hold a training session with young hockey players. Kuznetsov himself is a graduate of the Traktor hockey school.
“I’m at the Traktor children’s school. We will surprise the children, we will skate a little. Maybe I’ll learn something new, maybe they’ll learn something,” Kuznetsov said before going out on the ice.
“The children are already big. 11-12-13 years old. You can’t retrain them, you just need to push them further. Many guys skate well. Now, perhaps, we need to focus more on shooting and puck possession.
“Kids develop very quickly. Already at this age it is clear that they no longer need explaining.” He showed it, and they did it.
“I hope the level of the school will grow every year, ” Kuznetsov said about the training session.
The school captured the training session and posted the video to their YouTube channel. The video opens with Kuznetsov getting reacquainted with his old school rink. Later in the video Kuznetsov takes the kids through several skating and stick handling drills.
By Jon Sorensen