Kirill Kaprizov could be a superstar for the Wild in the NHL, but it looks as if the Wild will have to wait in line before the phenom leaves the KHL in Russia.
CSKA Moscow announced Thursday that Kaprizov has signed a new deal that will keep him in Russia through 2020. His previous deal was set to expire after the 2017-18 season.
The most dependable source for information on everything Wild is beat writer Michael Russo, who told a podcast this week that Kaprizov staying in Russia is a huge blow to the Wild.
“It looks like the Wild have no control over this kid,” Russo said on The Natural Hat Trick Podcast. “He has fired his North American agents, from what I understand — which happens to be Octagon, by the way — and it looks like he is signing an extension to continue playing in Moscow for at least another two years, which would give him three more years in the KHL. Which is a huge disappointment for the Wild. The Wild have no clue what this contract looks like, if there’s a way to buy him out and get him over here. So right now, they’re going under the belief that they’re not going to see him for a couple years, which is a huge disappointment.”
In late May, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told Russo and the Star Tribune that he believes Kaprizov will join the Wild for the 2018-19 season.
"He’s a heck of a player. I think he’ll be ready to step in and be a good hockey player for us a year from now," Fletcher said. "That’s our expectation and our hope. We haven’t been notified of anything to the contrary.”
Now, the only way Kaprizov could join the Wild prior to 2020 is if the Wild buy out his contract. How they would do that, if it's even possible, is unknown.
The 19-year-old winger captained Russia's junior team and is expected to be a member of their Olympic team in February.