Kirill Kaprizov Wins NHL 1st Star of the Week

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Carolina Hurricanes
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov has been on fire of late and the NHL is taking notice. The Thrill topped off his award-winning week on Sunday evening with an empty-net assisted hat trick that that pushed his goal total to four and point total up to eight.

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Kirill Kaprizov is the key to Minnesota Wild success this season

Every night they take the ice, the Wild remain in danger of falling out of the Western Conference playoff race. But since John Hynes took over, winning hasn’t been an issue… as long as Kirill Kaprizov is on the ice.

In the last 20 games with Kirill Kaprizov on the ice, which covers all of December and January, the Minnesota Wild are 14-6-0. The problem, however, is that the Wild have played 27 games in that time (since November 28) and they’re 1-5-1 in the contests that Kaprizov hasn’t been able to compete in, due to injury.

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Given Minnesota’s depth and salary cap issues, which are both tied to one another, we knew their best players would have to stay healthy and perform well, if the 2023-24 squad was going to have any success. They got off to a slow start, but if Kaprizov can stay healthy, the sample size is big enough to confirm they have a pretty good team. Hopefully, it’s not too late.