The wait is over. After months of ups and downs, the Wild signed rising star Kirill Kaprizov to a new contract on Tuesday, and it’s almost as big as his Calder-winning season. The Wild confirmed that Kirill Kaprizov signed a five-year, $45 million contract ($9M cap hit).
Kaprizov, 24, made a huge impact right off the bat for the Wild in 2020-21. He topped the team in scoring with 51 points (27 goals, 24 assists) in 55 games. Beyond those numbers, there was the visceral thrill of watching him create one sensational scoring chance after another.
(Indeed, it’s fair to wonder if Kaprizov could really explode with more dangerous linemates. Sorry, Victor Rask.)
The Athletic’s Michael Russo notes just how rare it is for a player to receive a $9M cap hit with such a small NHL resume:
… Kaprizov enters his sophomore season with the highest AAV with the fewest number of games played (55 regular-season games) since the NHL implemented the salary cap in 2005-06.
That $9M cap hit makes Kaprizov the Wild’s highest-paid player, supplanting Jared Spurgeon ($7.575M per year).
With other key RFAs lingering, such as Elias Pettersson, could Kaprizov’s contract open the free-agent floodgates? Looming training camps certainly act as another pressure point.
(In Kaprizov’s case, COVID-related quarantines and other delays might make for some delayed gratification. Wild fans are used to that with the star winger anyway, though, right?)
The Minnesota Wild have now signed all of their RFAs
They have $3M in cap space with a roster of 22 (13F – 7D – 2G)https://t.co/zZvGBCtqGm
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 21, 2021
Russo notes that the Wild essentially “bought” two of Kaprizov’s UFA years, as he’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency at age 29. His contract expires after the 2025-26 season.