Kaprizov’s hot WJC start bolsters argument that Wild got a fifth-round steal

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Don’t blame prospect-minded Minnesota Wild fans for cackling with glee upon seeing the show Kirill Kaprizov put on tonight.

The prospect generated a hat trick (and two assists) for Russia in a 2017 World Juniors rout of Latvia, as the team bounced back from Monday’s 5-3 loss to Canada by dominating 9-1.

Really, Wild fans were probably pretty happy with what they saw of Kaprizov even in that loss, and also in how he’s playing so far in the KHL:

To be precise, the Wild selected Kaprizov, 19, with the 135th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft. (His selection seems to fall into a minor trend of people joking about Boston Bruins non-picks after New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal looked impressive on Monday.)

With Minnesota living off of its goaltending at times in 2016-17, it must be exciting to see a possible offensive catalyst in the prospect pipeline.

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Naturally, when you win 9-1, you’re getting contributions from other players.

Other standouts for Russia included Mikhail Vorobyov (four assists, 104th pick in 2015 by the Philadelphia Flyers) and Igor Rykov (three assists, 132nd pick by the New Jersey Devils in 2016). For more stats from that lopsided game, click here.

In other WJC news, Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 4-3 in overtime while Finland faces Denmark and Canada takes on Slovakia later tonight.