Hockey “Minnesota” Kaprizov becomes the first star of the NHL match with “Edmonton”
Kirill Kaprizov is only in his third season in the National Hockey League, but is already a full-fledged superstar in North America and one of the main players in the NHL. If previously a 25-year-old Russian was compared in terms of his qualities to play with other older and more distinguished compatriots, now Kirill himself is an example to follow. The day before, the Minnesota Wild leader set a new personal record for longest winning streak in the championship, leading his team to victory in a tough match against Arizona, and once again provoking the public to debate the Hart Trophy contender.
On this occasion, famous The Athletic columnist Joe Smith, who has been working in the Wild environment since this year, gathered the opinions of many NHL stars about the game of the main hope of the “savages”. Both current hockey players and those who have completed their careers, both coaches and other experts spoke about Kaprizov. But let’s pick three speakers: Nikita Kucherov, Nathan McKinnon and Sidney Crosby. Pretty unusual college, isn’t it?
One of the top goal scorers of our time and Tampa star talked about his compatriot with whom he won bronze at the 2019 World Cup, praising the Minnesota talent scout who first recommended the club choose Kirill. Recall that Kaprizov was selected by Minnesota in only the fifth round under the 135th overall number of the 2015 draft. At that time, no one in the NHL talked about Kaprizov for the simple reason – Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Mikko Rantanen, Mitchell Marner, Dylan Stroum were selected in the same draft …
McKinnon also admitted that he likes to watch Minnesota vs Kaprizov games in person:
“Many Russian hockey players skate at a high level. These are Kucherov, Artemy Panarin and Kaprizov. He doesn’t look nervous at all. Great. I love watching him play. Definitely, Kaprizov are my favorite players in the NHL”.
Another outstanding representative of the maple leaf country completed the statement of the Canadian superstar. According to Sidney Crosby, Kaprizov is an almost perfect hockey player.
Kaprizov stated the day before that he likes to compete with the strongest. It’s clear – you can only level up while facing the best. Today, Cyril and “Minnesota” had just such a chance, because St. Paul gave “Edmonton” along with the main hockey giants of the current era, Connor McDavid and Leon Draizatl. There were 77 points before the two-man match with a German against a “Wild” Canadian! And that’s in 23 games!
It was McDavid and Dreisatl who scored two of the three goals in the battle of Paul, and they did it for themselves in a classic fashion: first McDavid helped the German, and then Dreizeitl helped Connor. Another goal for “Oil” was scored by Russian Klim Kostin, who opened the score for the new club this season. But the efforts of the best hockey players in the world or Kostin did not help Edmonton. All because of Kirill Kaprizov.
The leader of “Minnesota” scored three points and helped his team to an important victory – 5:3. Because of the Russian super forward goal and two assists. Particular attention is paid to Kirill’s puck: Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Baldy played the majority with Kaprizov, and the Russian deftly surpassed the goalkeeper in close combat.
With 97 points this season, “Minnesota” has already played its seventh game with a goal and assist, and has also improved its personal performance record, stepping up for the tenth game in a row. There are still two games left to go to Wild’s record.
However, Kaprizov rewrote a number of other successes. For example, a 25-year-old Russian became the best in the history of the “savages” for a club in the speed of acquiring 100 assists in an NHL career. Kirill took just 158 matches, while former Wild record holder Mikko Koivu took 230. Kaprizov also set a new club record for longest streak with assists. Kirill assisted in nine consecutive meetings. The previous Minnesota record was held by Jim Dowd, who assisted in eight games in a row in February-March 2002. The record lasted 20 years!
And this is just the beginning. Kirill is in an extraordinary situation and if he maintains his current position he will very soon break the 200 point cap in the NHL and trade his first hundred goals in the best hockey league in the world.
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