Kirill Kaprizov the heartbeat of Wild’s offense
One of the biggest criticisms of Minnesota Wild teams of the past was the average age of the roster. Two seasons ago, the Wild had one of the oldest rosters in hockey.
When general manager Bill Guerin was hired before the 2019-20 season, he sought to change that. And, boy, has he ever.
Of the eight Wild players with double-digit points in 2020-21, four are 24 years old or younger — Joel Eriksson Ek (24), Kevin Fiala (24), Jordan Greenway (24) and Kirill Kaprizov (23).
No player has had a bigger impact on the Wild’s offense this season than Kaprizov, who leads the team with 19 points (six goals, 13 assists). The importance of Kaprizov is even more evident when looking at the Wild’s wins and losses.
The Wild are currently siting in fourth place in the West division with a 13-8-1 record (27 points). In Minnesota’s 13 victories this season, Kaprizov has tallied five goals, 12 assists (17 points) and a plus-minus of +14. He’s logged one goal and one assist (two points) in the Wild’s nine losses, also posting a humble plus-minus of -9.
Also fueling the offense, Fiala is leading the team in shots on goal per game this season (3.5). That’s the highest mark for any Wild player since 2013-14 when Zach Parise tallied 3.7 shots per contest.
Since he joined the Wild on Feb. 26, 2019, no player has put more shots on goal per game than Fiala (2.8). Matt Dumba is second with 2.4.
Kaprizov, Fiala and the Wild will try to make up some ground in the standings when they battle the first-place Vegas Golden Knights (16-4-1) on Monday night. The game will be televised on FOX Sports North, with “Wild Live” beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar