One hand on his stick, his hair flapping underneath his helmet, Kirill Kaprizov darted from the Wild bench and made a beeline for the offensive zone.
He scooped up a pass in stride, swung around the Arizona net and then veered into the slot before flinging the puck into the back of the net in one fluid motion.
The skill alone is enough to jolt the Wild, a team that has been short on edge-of-your-seat talent for years.
But the work ethic is what makes Kaprizov a rare breed.
And both were on display Friday when the rookie scored his first career hat trick in epic fashion.
"He's a very special hockey player," coach Dean Evason said. "We're going to come to expect that to happen."
Kaprizov interrupted a scoreless battle, igniting the Wild to a 4-0 about-face vs. Arizona at Xcel Energy Center with a third-period clinic that pushed his team's win streak at home to six games and improved it to 10-2-1 over its past 13 overall.
Aside from being just the third Wild player to record three goals in the same period, Kaprizov is only the second rookie in team history to secure a hat trick; Justin Fontaine (Jan. 9, 2014) also registered his against the Coyotes.
The 23-year-old Russian also set a career high in shots (eight), which tied the team's rookie record; so did his plus-4 rating, which is also a career-best clip.
Not only does Kaprizov lead the Wild in points with 23, but he also paces all NHL rookies in goals (10), assists (13) and points.
"Players like that are very special, and they don't come around that often," said Cam Talbot, who made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season and 23rd of his career in his return to action after backing up Kaapo Kahkonen the previous two games. "Having a guy like him on your team in a 0-0 game, you always feel like you have a chance for sure. Any time the puck touches his stick, he can be dangerous and make something out of nothing."
That certainly was the case in this game, with the first two periods a trudge for the Wild.
The team was playing shorthanded since Marcus Foligno left the game in the first after taking a Jonas Brodin shot off the lower right leg. Evason did not have an update on Foligno's status.
But strong play from Talbot, who was surprised to get the start since Kahkonen is on an eight-game win streak, put the Wild in position to win the game if the team won the third.
"He's having a fun time out there," captain Jared Spurgeon said.
At 5:47, Kaprizov cut to the inside before slinging a shot by Coyotes goalie Adin Hill, who totaled 28 saves. Both power plays went 0-for-4.
Next up was the highlight of the night, Kaprizov's sprint off the bench, around the net and into the middle for his second goal at 8:10 — a superb combination of finesse and determination in a breezy 10 seconds.
"Just a special play from a special player," said Talbot, who is familiar with superstars, having played with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton. "That's the best way you can put it. Any time he's out there, he seems to be able to make something happen."
And then after Brodin chipped the puck into an empty net with 59 seconds to go, Kaprizov one-timed in a Mats Zuccarello pass (Zuccarello's third setup of the game) at 19:11.
As he unleashed the shot, Kaprizov hit the ice with his left knee — crystallizing the moment with a pose befitting a trading card.
Already it's embossed in Wild lore.
"He's got a couple good guys on his line that are really good finding him in open spaces," Talbot said. "But he just creates more space for himself where he doesn't need a ton of room. You could see that tonight. Any time he touches the puck, a special play could be coming.
"It's fun to watch, and I'm happy he's on our side, for sure."