The wait for Kirill Kaprizov is over. Kind of.
The Minnesota Wild announced Monday that the Russian phenom has signed a two-way, entry-level contract that begins this season. However, the first year of his contract is essentially all for naught as Kaprizov won't be allowed to join the Wild's roster for the resumption of the NHL season in August.
Instead, Kaprizov can get acclimated with the United States and begin preparing to debut for the Wild next season.
"We are thrilled to officially sign and welcome Kirill to our organization," said Wild General Manager Bill Guerin. "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."
Kaprizov has the potential to become a superstar in the NHL, which he already was in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). This season, he led the KHL with 33 goals and had 62 points in just 57 games with CSKA Moscow.
Guerin told NHL.com that Kaprizov will be allowed to practice with the Wild during training camp, which began Monday, and can travel with the team to the NHL bubble in Edmonton, where Minnesota will face the Vancouver Canucks in a playoff-qualifying round that begins Aug. 2.
The winner of the series advances to the playoffs while the loser will have a chance at obtaining the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Wild drafted Kaprizov in the fifth round (135 overall) of the 2015 draft.