Is it 2020 yet? Close, but not close enough for Minnesota Wild fans anxiously awaiting the potential arrival of Kirill Kaprizov, the Russian phenom who continues to light the lamp while playing out a contract with CSKW Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
The 22-year-old forward just played his 300th game in the KHL. As he often does, he scored a goal to increase his career totals to 213 points (102 goals).
This season, Kaprizov has 13 goals and 10 assists in 21 games, with the KHL's weekly newsletter saying it's the first time in his career that he's broken the point-per-game barrier.
If Kaprizov joins the Wild next season, he'll immediately become the most hyped player the team has had since Zach Parise and Ryan Suter arrived as free agents in the summer of 2012.
How Kaprizov's game translates to the NHL is unknown, but if McKeen Hockey's 2019-20 Yearbook description of Kaprizov is any indication, his offensive firepower will translate just fine.
‘An elite offensive player who is already one of the top KHL talents at his young age, Kaprizov is a gifted forward with an impressive resume under his belt. Last year, he led the whole league in goals and game-winning goals, and also won the Gagarin Cup with CSKA before helping Russia to get back home with a bronze medal at the IIHF World Championship. With his size, hands, and poise, he won’t have many problems in adapting to the more demanding NHL game and it will be exciting to see what he can do there after his contract with CSKA will run out next April 30. He is a hard worker, and won’t be a defensive liability for his team, but Kaprizov is a top-six player and won’t contribute much on a bottom-six, defensive oriented role.’
Meanwhile, the Wild are 4-9-1 and their nine points is tied for the second fewest in the NHL. Minnesota is currently riding a three-game losing streak entering a four-game, West Coast road trip that begins Tuesday night in Anaheim.