The Minnesota Wild’s winger Kirill Kaprizov has won the 2020-21 Calder Trophy.
— NHL (@NHL) June 29, 2021
Kirill Kaprizov Wins the Calder
Kaprizov Walks Away From Awards with Hardware
Kirill Kaprizov is the first Minnesota Wild player to win the Calder Trophy. This year, he led all rookie scorers with 27 goals, 24 assists for 51 points in 55 games. He had 10 more goals and six more points than the next closest rookie, Jason Robertson. Kaprizov also led his team in scoring by 11 points. Kaprizov’s 51.2 Corsi For percentage at even-strength also led his team.
Even though this is Kaprizov’s first NHL season, it is the 24-year-old’s seventh professional season, playing in the KHL since 2014-15. Kaprizov led the KHL in goals last year (33) and finished third in points (62) in 57 games for CSKA Moscow. He won the KHL’s Gagarin Cup with CSKA Moscow in 2019. Kirill Kaprizov also won a 2018 Olympic Gold Medal with the Olympic Athletes from Russia. He scored nine points in six games in the Olympics, finishing second in scoring on his team.
The Wild drafted Kaprizov 135th overall in 2015. His entry-level deal ended this season, and he is a restricted free agent.
Nominated for the award is Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson. Robertson scored 17 goals, 28 assists for 45 points in 51 games to finish second in rookie scoring behind Kirill Kaprizov. Robertson also finished second on the Stars in scoring and third in even-strength Corsi For percentage with 56.7. His emergence helped the Stars offset the losses of Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov who were hurt for most of the season.
Nominated for the award is Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic. He played the most games for the Hurricanes this season. In 23 games, he posted a .932 save percentage and a 1.90 goals-against-average. Those were the best numbers among NHL goaltenders to play over 20 games this year.
What This Means for the Future
For Kirill Kaprizov, this award cements the origin story for a new star in Minnesota. Over an 82 game season, Kaprizov’s point total would have had him finish with 76 points. In the past ten years, only Artemi Panarin and Mathew Barzal have accumulated over 70 points in their rookie seasons. The issue for the Wild is getting Kaprizov signed. Michael Russo of The Athletic reported the issue is with the term. Kaprizov wants a shorter-term contract while the Wild wants a long-term deal. CSKA Moscow has also reportedly offered Kaprizov a contract as well.
#mnwild & Kirill Kaprizov’s agent say Kaprizov is at a buddy’s wedding in Moscow. His agent gave the team a heads up.
As for CSKA rumors, that’s his only option besides signing with the Wild and they’ll offer him a ton of $, so expect those rumors as long as he’s unsigned here
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 18, 2021