The wait is over: Wild officially sign forward Kirill Kaprizov

The wait is finally over.

The Minnesota Wild have officially signed forward Kirill Kaprizov to a two-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2019-20 season, the team announced Monday.

Although Kaprizov’s deal includes the 2019-20 season, he won’t be able to play during the NHL’s postseason tournament this summer, based on the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement signed last week. He will, however, get to participate in the team’s training camp and will travel with the Wild to Edmonton for the best-of-five qualifying round playoff series against Vancouver.

“We are thrilled to officially sign and welcome Kirill to our organization,” Wild general manager Bill Guerin said in a statement. “He has exceeded all expectations in his development since he was drafted in 2015. Kirill is a smart and dynamic forward that has led the KHL in goals each of the past two seasons and we look forward to having him on our roster when next season starts.”

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Ever since he was selected in the fifth round (No. 135 overall) of the 2015 draft, the Wild have been waiting for Kaprizov to arrive in Minnesota. Kaprizov spent the last six seasons in the KHL and has emerged as one of Russia’s most promising stars. His KHL contract expired May 1.

The 23-year-old winger 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.

The Wild return to action Aug. 2 for the first game of a best-of-five series against the Canucks.