Kirill Kaprizov Ranked #1 Prospect in Hockey by ESPN

Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Billy Guerin and those associated with the Minnesota Wild organization are trying their best to tamp down expectations for Russian prospect Kirill Kaprizov, who is scheduled to make his NHL debut next season.

That’s going to prove a fruitless effort however, if these articles continue coming out of massive outlets like ESPN…

1. Kirill Kaprizov, RW, Minnesota Wild

Age: 22 | Previous rank: 8

Current team: CSKA Moscow (KHL)

The wait may soon be over. Assuming Kaprizov signs as expected, he will come in as the reigning two-time KHL goal-scoring champion. Kaprizov has an Olympic gold medal and a Gagarin Cup title, and no player has posted more points in his KHL career before turning 24. He competes for pucks and makes plays. While there may be an adjustment to the North American style, the Wild should reasonably expect him to be an impact player, a Calder Trophy contender and quite possibly their biggest home-drafted star since Marian Gaborik.

Chris Peters – ESPN

Look, let’s not beat around the bush anymore. Kirill Kaprizov should be a superstar. That’s what every scout is saying and he has numbers to prove it, in one of the best professional hockey leagues in the world.

He posted 33 goals and 29 assists (62 points) in 57 games this year for CSKA Moscow this year and that was after posting 51 points as a sophomore in the league.

Kirill Kaprizov has dominated the KHL for most of three seasons and just became the youngest player in its (very illustrious) history to score 100 goals, at 22 years, 170 days. How impressive is that? The old record was set by a 25-year-old. He’s a game breaker of a category we haven’t seen until glimpses of greatness from Kevin Fiala this season.

At this point, if Kaprizov doesn’t come over and produce 70+ points in his first year, during a full 82-game schedule, I’d feel a little letdown. If I felt more confident about my hockey takes, I might go higher.

Throw him in the mix next season, plus handcuffs to Parise and Suter… are we really looking at legitimate Stanley Cup contenders for the next few years….

It is absolutely the most elite-type talent we’ve had in franchise history. You be the judge. The longer video was a highlight tape from his 2018-19 season. I’ve added a couple more below it, that are more recent.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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