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 an NHL entry-level contract until his contract expires on April 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 and the World Championships recently having been canceled, Kaprizov doesn’t have any remaining obligations to Russia, which might be enough for his team, CSKA Moscow, to release him from his contract.
Kaprizov had career highs in goals (33) and assists (29) in 57 games in his sixth season in the league. Guerin would prefer Kaprizov's two-year, entry-level deal to start for the 2020-21 season, so Minnesota 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, in which 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.
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