The wait is almost over: Kaprizov now eligible to be signed by Wild

The wait is almost over.

The KHL contract of Minnesota prospect Kirill Kaprizov expired Thursday, meaning the Wild can officially sign him to an NHL deal as early as Friday.

More Wild coverage

Kaprizov, who was selected by Minnesota in the fifth round (No. 135 overall) of the 2015 draft, has been playing the last six seasons in the KHL and has emerged as one of Russia’s most promising stars.

The 23-year-old winger has led the KHL in goals the past two seasons – 30 in 2018-19 and 33 in 2019-20 – and was named an All-Star for the past five campaigns.

Kaprizov also tallied 14 points (four goals and 10 assists) in 19 postseason games while helping CSKA Moskva to a Gagarin Cup championship in 2018-19. He had CSKA Moskva rolling again in the 2019-20 playoffs before the season was shut down due to the coronavirus.

If Kaprizov does eventually sign, which he’s expected to, the aging Wild roster would suddenly be bursting with young offensive talent.

Kevin Fiala, acquired in a trade with Nashville at the 2018-19 deadline, logged a career-best 23 goals and 54 points in 64 contests before the 2019-20 NHL season was postponed. The 23-year-old was red-hot in February and March, compiling 14 goals and 12 assists (26 points) in 19 games.

Luke Kunin, 22, was in the middle of a career-best campaign with 15 goals and 16 assists in 63 contests. And the same can be said for the 23-year-old Jordan Greenway, who logged eight goals and career-high 20 assists in 67 games.

Even if the 2019-20 NHL season never resumes, the future appears to be bright in the State of Hockey.