- The Minnesota Wild have signed RFA Kirill Kaprizov to a five-year, $45 million contract
- The Wild are among the top 15 favorites in the 2022 Stanley Cup odds
- Read below for Minnesota’s Cup odds and season projection following the Kaprizov signing
The Minnesota Wild have finally locked up their most important player heading in the 2021-22 NHL season. The team signed RFA forward Kirill Kaprizov to a long-term contract Tuesday evening.
Minnesota is sitting as a top 15 favorite in the 2022 Stanley Cup odds following the big signing. Bill Guerin’s team put up a strong fight against powerhouses Vegas and Colorado last season.
Now that Kaprizov is signed, should the Wild be considered legit Stanley Cup contenders in 2021-22?
2022 Stanley Cup Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+700|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+700|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+900|
|New York Islanders||+1700|
|New York Rangers||+2200|
Odds as of September 22, 2021
Wild Sign Kaprizov to Five-Year Extension
The Wild signed Russian superstar Kirill Kaprizov to a five-year, $45 million contract on Tuesday. The big signing follows offseason speculation that contract negotiations had gone south and Kaprizov was considering a return to the KHL. Getting their superstar locked up for at least the next five years is massive for Minnesota.
The @mnwild have signed Kirill Kaprizov to a five-year extension. ✍️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 21, 2021
Kaprizov was electric in Minnesota last season, winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. “Kirill the Thrill” led the team in both goals (27) and points (51) in 55 games last year. Kaprizov brought excitement to a Wild team that had been lacking significant offensive firepower in recent years.
This is a huge payday for a player that has only played one NHL season, but the Wild have clearly seen enough to buy in. Kaprizov is already 24 years of age and got plenty of KHL experience over the past several years. He’s physically mature at 5’9″, 201 pounds, and is the type of player you can build a franchise around.
Can Wild Unseat Avs in Central?
The main obstacle in the way of Minnesota making a serious run in 2021-22 is the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche. Not only is Jared Bednar’s team heavy Central Division favorites in the NHL Divisional odds, but they’re also the Cup favorites. The Avs are loaded with Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar and Darcy Kuemper.
Minnesota finished seven points back of Colorado in the West Division last season before losing to Vegas in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wild made some bold moves this offseason, buying out the contracts of both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. These are two veteran players whose leadership abilities will be missed in the dressing room.
Minnesota has a solid goalie tandem in Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen, in addition to a good defense group led by Mathew Dumba and Jonas Brodin. The Wild’s success in 2021-22 is likely going to be dependant on the depth behind Kaprizov’s line. If Joel Eriksson Ek continues to improve and prospects like Marco Rossi and Matt Boldy make an impact, the Wild could be in for a special year.
Minnesota Wild Stanley Cup Odds
The Wild are a team to watch in 2021-22 now that they’ve got their superstar signed to a deal. The +2500 price tag in the Cup odds isn’t all that appealing, however, considering they were +5000 at this time last year. The Wild didn’t make any major changes to a mediocre offense that may have overachieved in 2020-21.
One day closer to Training Camp 🤩 pic.twitter.com/mnFMkZhEnK
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) September 13, 2021
I’m not betting against Colorado in the Central Division this season, but the Wild should be a decent money-maker against the spread. They had the second-best ROI ATS last season and should thrive in a division that is basically Colorado, Minnesota, and everyone else. The Wild are a few years away from being considered legit contenders, but there are some strong pieces in place to indicate another successful season is coming.