Kaprizov, last season’s Calder Trophy winner, had an immediate impact on the Wild franchise as a rookie, injecting a level of excitement and game-breaking ability the team hasn’t had much of in recent years.
In 55 games, he scored 27 goals and 51 points, leading the Wild in scoring by a wide margin. He added three points in seven playoff games.
The @mnwild have signed Kirill Kaprizov to a five-year extension.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 21, 2021
Kaprizov was among a group of high-profile, young restricted free agents awaiting a deal with training camps on the horizon that includes the likes of Brady Tkachuk in Ottawa as well as Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes in Vancouver. His negotiations added some extra drama as the lure of a return to the KHL — where he starred for three seasons with SKA Moscow — was an outside factor most other restricted free agents don’t carry with them.
Throughout the process, Wild GM Bill Guerin remained optimistic a deal would get done, but just over a week ago admitted “some obstacles” remained.
“I will say this, we are at a point where we feel we’re being extremely fair,” Guerin told Michael Russo of The Athletic on Sept. 13. “How far apart are we? Not very, but sometimes those can be the things that take a while. I mean, that’s the way I see it. You could ask (agent) Paul (Theofanous) or Kirill and they might say something very different.”
This contract makes Kaprizov the highest-paid player on the Wild roster and buys two of his UFA years. He will be 29 when the deal expires and could be in line for another significant raise after the 2025-26 campaign if he can continue to take his game to new heights.
The Wild teased Kaprizov’s signing on social media with a clever video featuring Russian nesting dolls.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) September 21, 2021
Kaprizov celebrated the deal on his own Instagram account, simply writing “Let’s go.”