One year after Kirill Kaprizov announced his presence to the National Hockey League, the Minnesota Wild appear to have another star on their hands.
Matt Boldy is just 13 games into his career but his impact on the Wild has already been felt. Minnesota has gone 11-1-1 with Boldy in the lineup and his play has not only stacked up with some of the top rookies in the game but is comparable to Kaprizov's Calder Trophy season.
Kaprizov took over the league from the moment he stepped on the ice. He scored the game-winning goal in his first career game and collected nine points (3 G, 6 A) in his first 13 games.
Those numbers are solid but they also came against a weaker schedule. Ten of the opponents in that stretch didn't make the playoffs and at the age of 24, Kaprizov had an advanced age for a rookie.
Boldy's arrival has had a similar effect. After becoming the fourth rookie in Wild history to record a hat trick in Monday's win over Detroit, he has seven goals and seven assists in 13 games. Six of those opponents are currently on track to make the playoffs and at the age of 20, Boldy is just scratching the surface.
In no area has Boldy's skill set been more apparent than on the power play. In the first 31 games of the season, the Wild went 21-for-109 (19.2 percent) with the man advantage. While Minnesota has converted 9-of-42 (21.4 percent) opportunities since Boldy's debut, the rookie has accounted for six of those goals.
The residual effect has been the revival of Kevin Fiala. The winger endured a slump to begin the season with just 21 points (7 G, 14 A) in his first 31 games. But with Boldy's playmaking ability on the other end of the ice, Fiala has awakened for 16 points (7 G, 9 A) in his past 13 games. That includes points in 12 of the 13 games on a line with Boldy.
But the biggest comparison to Kaprizov is Boldy's impact on the Wild's success. Minnesota is 7-0-1 when Boldy records a point, which is in the same vein as the 56-10-5 record the Wild have when Kaprizov gets on the scoresheet.
This resume looks even better compared to some of the NHL's top rookies. Boldy doesn't have the high point total that Detroit's Lucas Raymond (13 G, 26 A, 39 P) has. Nor does he have the jaw-dropping highlights that Anaheim's Trevor Zegras has. But he leads all rookies averaging 1.07 points per game.
According to Stathead, only five players have averaged a point per game with a minimum of 41 games played since the NHL instituted a salary cap in 1983.
Assuming that Boldy could maintain this pace is a lofty expectation. But had he not broken his ankle in the Wild's final preseason game, there's a chance he could be in the mix for the Calder Trophy and already scoring at a point-per-game pace for 41+ games.
According to Zone Coverage's Tony Abbott, just one rookie (Pavel Bure, 1991-92) in the past 30 years has won the Calder Trophy after playing fewer than 75 games.
Boldy's small sample size shows how he can help the Wild make a deep playoff run and become a cornerstone for the future, if not one of the top players in the league.