The waiting is over. Well, in a way it’s over.
The Wild signed forward Kirill Kaprizov to a two-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2019-20 season. Kaprizov was selected by the Wild in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL draft. Kaprizov, 23, won’t be eligible to play for the Wild until the 2020-21 season but can travel with the team to its qualifying round games in the Edmonton “bubble.” Kaprizov is eligible to practice with the Wild.
“We are thrilled to officially sign and welcome Kirill to our organization,” Wild general manager Bill Guerin said in a statement. “He has exceeded all expectations in his development since he was drafted in 2015. Kirill is a smart and dynamic forward that has led the KHL in goals each of the past two seasons and we look forward to having him on our roster when next season starts.”
HERE’S MORE INFO FROM THE WILD PRESS RELEASE
Kaprizov registered 62 points (33-29=62), a plus-32 rating, six power-play goals, six game-winning goals and 171 shots on goal in 57 games with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound winger set career highs in goals, even-strength goals (27), assists, points and shots on goal and tied his career best in games played. The native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, led the KHL in goals for the second straight season and ranked third in scoring, T-4th in GWG and fifth in plus/minus rating.
He also led his team in power-play goals this season. The left-shot forward tallied 18 points (8-10=18) in a season-high 11-game point streak from Jan. 4-29. He collected two hat tricks (Sept. 16 and Oct. 1) and netted his 100th career goal on Oct. 15 to become the youngest player in KHL history to reach 100 goals at 22 years, 170 days. The forward owned four points (2-2=4) in four playoff games as CSKA swept its first-round series against Torpedo before the KHL cancelled its season due to COVID-19.
Kaprizov collected 230 points (113-117=230), a plus-89 rating, 26 PPG, 28 GWG, 122 PIM and 719 shots on goal in 293 career contests in six KHL seasons (2014-20) and was a five-time KHL All-Star. He registered 31 points (11-20=31), five PPG, three GWG and 114 shots on goal in 47 KHL playoff games and won the Gagarin Cup with CSKA Moscow in 2018-19.
Kaprizov has played for Russia in seven international tournaments. He recorded nine points (5-4=9) in six games at the 2018 Winter Olympics and scored the GWG in overtime against Germany in the gold medal game. He ranked T-1st in goals and T-2nd in tournament scoring. Kaprizov recorded two goals in nine games at the 2019 IIHF World Championship as Russia won a bronze medal.
He served as team captain and recorded 12 points (9-3=12) in seven games and led the tournament in goals and ranked T-1st in scoring at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship as Russia won a bronze medal. Kaprizov tallied three points (2-1=3) in seven games to help Russia win a silver medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. He recorded seven points (5-2=7) in four games at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Junior Championship and played for Russia at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge and the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.