Prized Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov may have signed or be on the verge of signing a three-year contract to remain with CSKA Moscow, the Kontinental Hockey League team he was traded to recently. In a tweet, the KHL quoted team President Igor Esmantovich as saying, "He will stay in Russia for next three years."
However, in an interview with sovsport.ru, Kaprizov is quoted as saying, "I still have time to think about this proposal."
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Senior VP of Hockey Operations Brent Flahr, who expected Kaprizov to stay in Russia at least one more season, declined to comment. Kaprizov's North American agents didn't respond to inquiries, although it's believed Kaprizov is acting independently of them.
If the skilled 20-year-old winger stays in Russia for the next three years, it's a blow to the Wild's prospect pool.
While forwards Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin will vie for roster spots next season, the Wild recently traded 2014 first-round pick Alex Tuch and 2015 second-round pick Jordan Greenway is returning to Boston University. The Wild also traded its 2017 first-round pick and 2018 second-round pick in February's Martin Hanzal trade and has been without second-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
There's no transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL, so the Wild owns Kaprizov's NHL rights indefinitely.
Kaprizov captained Team Russia at last winter's world junior championships and led the entire tournament with nine goals. He set an Under 20 KHL record this season with 42 points (20 goals) in 49 games for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.