Minnesota Wild superstar Kirill Kaprizov was twice denied entry into the United States and has apparently returned to his native Russia, The Athletic‘s Michael Russo reported on Friday.
Russo, citing league sources, said Kaprizov was “turned away” while returning to the United States via Dubai, likely because he doesn’t have a work visa. As previously reported by The Athletic, many players from outside North America were able before the 2021-22 season to enter the U.S. or Canada without visas because many consulates were overwhelmed with a backlog of requests caused by COVID-19.
Again citing league sources, Russo reported Kaprizov then tried entering North America across the Atlantic Ocean via an unnamed island in the Caribbean, but was again denied entry and has returned home.
“It’s scary. It’s scary for all of us,” Wild coach Dean Evason told The Athletic. “It’s a scary situation in our world. To see somebody as close as we know Kirill, yeah, it’s a scary situation. And we hope that it all gets sorted out correctly.”
Kaprizov was previously accused of buying a fake military ID in 2017, conceivably to avoid serving in the Russian armed forces. Kaprizov’s father contends his son was a student, which enabled him to avoid military service, but that waiver reportedly expired on June 30.
Kaprizov, 25, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year for 2020-21. He continued his ascension this season, scoring 47 goals and adding 61 assists for 108 points in 81 games for the Wild.