Wild fans have got to be thrilled about this one.
After about a zillion back and forth rumors of “will they sign him” or “will he go back to Russia”, the Minnesota Wild have re-signed Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov to a 5-year, $45 million dollar deal.
This 24-year-old, Calder winner just put up a 51 points (27G 24A) in 55 games performance last season. Kaprizov also averaged 18:18 per game, had only 16 PIMS the entire season, and ended with a corsi for of 58.3%. He then went on to play 7 playoff games and put up just 3 points (2G 1A) with an average of 18:52 per game. Regardless, he was a game changer for the Wild last season. Amazing with the puck, fantastic on the powerplay. He was exactly what the Wild needed, a jolt to their system. That makes complete sense since he had already done a few years in the KHL, he know what level he had to be at to be a key part of a pro-team.
Despite how awesome he was, 5-years at a $9 million AAV is hefty. He’s just played what was counted as his rookie season in the NHL, despite being 24 and having been in the KHL for a while. I know we have been seeing a lot of young guys coming off their entry deal take less of a bridge deal compared to the past but $9 mill is a big cap hit for someone this young, in my opinion. Sure, the Wild don’t really have anyone else to pay they have to worry about, but it is still a lot of trust and pressure to put on someone who has only played 55 NHL games in your organization.
I think Kirill is a great player who has a lot of games ahead of him, I would have just gone for a bit smaller of a price tag this quickly. You never know what can really happen. However with his new deal, that does get the RFA signing list down to 6 with just 3 weeks to go. I am anxiously awaiting the re-signings of Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Brady Tkachuk. Kirill’s new contract will set a bit of a standard moving forward so this is going to be interesting to watch especially with training camps right around the corner.
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Featured Image: CARLOS GONZALEZ, STAR TRIBUNE