Minnesota Wild fans have waited over five years for Kirill Kaprizov to put on a Wild sweater. On Thursday, they'll finally get to see that happen when the 23-year-old prospect makes his NHL debut in Los Angeles.
Until then, Kaprizov gave Minnesota fans a taste of what's to come during the Wild's scrimmage on Friday night. As part of a broadcast on the team's YouTube channel, Kaprizov showed many of the traits that have created a buzz since the Wild drafted him in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
One trait is an ability to put the puck in the net that helped him score 98 goals over the past four seasons in the KHL. In the second period, Kaprizov started in his own end of the ice before backpedaling into the neutral zone. In an instant, Kaprizov turned on the jets, received the puck, and scored his first (unofficial) goal.
Later in the night, Kaprizov showed off his playmaking ability. As the Wild cycled the puck in the offensive zone, Matt Dumba found Kaprizov for a backhand feed to Zach Parise, who buried a wrister in front of the net.
With an ability to score and set up others Kaprizov will be one of the most interesting players on the Wild roster this season. If he's able to make an impact as he did on Friday, he'll be worth the wait.