The Minnesota Wild have stock piled their prospect pool over the past few years with talented players like Luke Kunin, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Jordan Greenway just to name a few. However, Russian prospect Kirill Kaprizov has the highest potential of any Wild prospect. Kaprizov, a 5’10” left winger, started to garner attention last season when he had 27 points in 53 games. His 2015-2016 season ranked 5th all time in points, for U20 players in the KHL.
This past offseason Kaprizov was traded from his hometown Metallurg Novokuznetsk to Salavat Yulaev Ufa. Fresh off of an impressive year, expectations were high for Kaprizov coming into the season. The hype was met with one of the best seasons for a U20 player in the KHL. Kaprizov broke Evgeny Kuznetsov’s record for points in a KHL season for a U20 player with 42 points in 49 games. At the 2017 World Juniors he dominated with 12 points in 7 games to lead the tournament. In addition to leading the tournament in points he was named to the WJC All Star team and was named the WJC Best Forward.
Kaprizov is a natural goal scorer and has a knack for scoring big goals. He led the 2017 World Junior Championships with 9 and led Salavat with 20 this season. Kaprizov is a creative and smart hockey player, always putting himself in a position to score. Although he is a smaller player he isn’t afraid to grind in the dirty areas. Kaprizov has a great skill set that matchup with any prospect in hockey.
In his first goal Kaprizov goes to the front of the net and is able to carve out his position. After the shot, he buries the rebound. In the second goal Kaprizov takes advantage of a broken play by the opposing defense. Linus Omark feeds Kaprizov with a perfect one timer and he makes no mistake, blasting the puck past the goaltender.
Kaprizov shows off his impressive skill with a silky backhand shootout goal. Most noteworthy is his confidence, to be able to pull a move like that at the age of 19 in the KHL. Kaprizov is going to be an exciting player once he makes it to North America.
Kaprizov is not only the Wild’s top prospect but among the NHL’s top prospects. Furthermore he has the potential to come to North America and be a star. Although much like Evgeny Kuznetsov, it could be a waiting game. With his contract ending at the end of the 2017-2018 season, Kaprizov is set to play one more year for Salavat. For fantasy owners willing to wait it out you’ll be rewarded with a player who will likely come in and make an impact right away. Kaprizov is a perfect prospect for a team that can wait it out. If you’re looking to buy Kaprizov, possibly dangling prospects that might make an impact in 2017-2018 could entice the Kaprizov owner. Kaprizov should be among the top prospects you’re looking to buy this offseason.