The Minnesota Wild have already fared quite well on the college free-agent market, signing forward Mitchell Chaffee. They also signed 2019 second-rounder Hunter Jones to an entry-level contract. Now, general manager Bill Guerin has focused his sights in on KHL star Kirill Kaprizov, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo (subscription required).
It has been reported that Kaprizov, the third-leading scorer in the KHL, is expected to sign a contract this summer. However, due to KHL rules, he would not be eligible to sign a NHL entry-level contract until his contract expires on Apr. 30, four days after his 23rd birthday. That would allow Minnesota to sign him to a two-year, entry-level deal by May 1. However, with the KHL playoffs recently having been cancelled and with the World Championships also being cancelled, Kaprizov doesn’t have any remaining obligations remaining to Russia, which might be enough for his team, CSKA Moscow, to release him from his contract.
Kaprizov had career highs in goals and assists with 33 goals and 29 assists in 57 games in his sixth season in the league. Guerin would prefer his two-year, entry-level deal to start for the 2020-21 season, so the team gets the most out of the deal. Guerin is now trying to talk to his agent, Dan Milstein, about the potential of getting a deal done early. Of course, the recent agreement between the St. Louis Blues and college defenseman Scott Perunovich, where he agreed to two different contracts, depending on when the season continues, could be an option as well, especially if Kaprizov wants to force restricted free agency one year earlier.