Wild GM Paul Fenton headed to Russia to visit Kirill Kaprizov
After conducting his early courtship of Kirill Kaprizov via phone, Wild General Manager Paul Fenton will take the relationship to a new level this weekend when he travels to Russia to meet with the highly touted young prospect.
Fenton said Friday he will watch Kaprizov, drafted 135th overall by the Wild in 2015, play in several games for CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. He also plans to have dinner with Kaprizov and his parents, meeting them face-to-face for the first time.
While in Europe, Fenton also will scout some free agents and get a look at Andrei Svetlakov, another Wild draftee playing for CSKA Moscow.
A 5-9 forward, Kaprizov is considered the Wilds most intriguing prospect. Though his KHL contract runs through next season and there have been no discussions about ending it early Fenton said he expects Kaprizov to eventually sign with the Wild.
All indicators are saying that yes, we are confident he wants to be a part of the Minnesota Wild organization, said Fenton, who has been in frequent contact with Kaprizovs agent since becoming the Wilds GM in May. It will be a good experience for me to physically see him, meet him, try to build a relationship with him so we know that in the future, hell be one of us.
Kaprizov, 21, is off to a strong start in his fifth KHL season with 10 goals and seven assists in 22 games. Fenton will watch him play two games in Russia and three more in a tournament in Finland.
Though Fenton knows only one word in Russian da, which means yes hes confident he can make Kaprizov and his family understand how much the Wild covets him.
Were very, very, very, very interested in him, Fenton said. I think thats the most important thing, to show him that we have the love for him.
Kaprizov played for the gold medal Olympic Athletes from Russia team at the Winter Games earlier this year.