The arrival of Kirill Kaprizov can’t come soon enough for Minnesota Wild fans. The 22-year-old prospect has been tearing it up in Russia for years, and this season was no different.
Kaprizov just finished up the regular season of his 2019-20 campaign in the KHL with CSKA Moskva, and in 57 games, the 2015 fifth-round pick collected 33 goals and 62 points. For the second year in a row, the Novokuznetsk-born forward led the KHL in goals. He also finished third in the league in total points, trailing only 32-year-old Vadim Shipachyov and former St. Louis Blues winger Dmitrij Jaskin.
If you aren’t already, it’s time to start getting excited about the arrival of Kaprizov. When the playoffs conclude, Kaprizov’s KHL contract will expire. It is expected that he will then sign an entry-level contract with the Wild and begin playing in North America in 2020-21.
The Wild have needed a player like Kaprizov for some time. Kaprizov, a four-time KHL All-Star and Olympic gold medalist with the Olympic Athletes from Russia, has a phenomenal shot and possesses a slick set of hands. He is incredibly strong, and knocking him off the puck is often a struggle for enemy defenders. For the first time in years, the Wild appear to have a bona fide goal-scoring specialist on their hands.
Kaprizov is one of the best players in the world without an NHL contract, but that is expected to change very soon.
The KHL playoffs begin on March 1. You can catch Kaprizov and CSKA Moskva begin their series against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on March 2.