Wild star Kirill Kaprizov scored his 100th career goal. Here are some of his best
Ever since he scored the game-winner his NHL debut, there was no doubt Kaprizov was going to be a special player.
ST. PAUL — Shortly after Kirill Kaprizov had his 100th career goal wiped off the board last weekend, linemate Mats Zuccarello made a sweeping declaration regarding the milestone moment.
“I’m sure it’s going to come,” Zuccarello said with a smirk. “You just have to be patient.”
Sure enough, Kaprizov accomplished that a couple of games later against the Carolina Hurricanes.
In the process, Kaprizov became the third-fastest active player to record 100 career goals (180 games) with only Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin (167 games) and Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine (179 games) doing it in less time.
Here are some of his most memorable so far.
Goal No. 1, Jan. 14, 2021
Talk about making a good first impression. Making his NHL debut, Kaprizov introduced himself to the rest of the league by scoring the game-winner in overtime to lead the Wild over the Los Angeles Kings. It wasn’t his prettiest goal. Not even close. In fact, Kaprizov actually loses the puck on a breakaway, then inadvertently guides the puck in with his skate. Nonetheless, it counted, and the legend of Kirill Kaprizov was born.
Goal No. 10, March 12, 2021
The first hat trick for Kaprizov came against the Arizona Coyotes a couple of months after making his NHL debut. He finished off a dominant performance by beating Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill with a blast from the left circle. Not surprisingly, Zuccarello assisted on the goal — a harbinger of things to come.
Goal No. 35, Dec. 2, 2021
Most highlight reels for Kaprizov found online feature this goal against the New Jersey Devils near the top of the list. The play itself features an incredible individual effort as Kaprizov catches the puck near the blue line, then promptly turns Devils defenseman Ryan Graves into a pretzel. Not only does Kaprizov use his body to shield the puck with relative ease, he somehow accelerates from a near standstill to loop around Graves. As impressive as the move was at the time, it’s doesn’t go down as a highlight unless Kaprizov scores on the sequence. He did.
Goal No. 94, Dec. 29, 2022
Though he’s been lauded for his work ethic and propensity to score greasy goals near the crease, Kaprizov showcased his artistry against the Dallas Stars earlier this season. With the puck on his stick beneath the red line, Kaprizov spotted Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger cheating off his goal post ever so slightly. In an instant, Kaprizov flicked a shot on net, banked the puck off of Oettinger, and scored arguably the most creative goal of his career.
Goal No. 100, Jan. 19, 2023
His most recent goal belongs on this list. After having his milestone moment taken away less than a week ago because of an offside call, Kaprizov got it back with authority on Thursday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. He spotted a bouncing puck near the crease, roofed the shot to beat Hurricanes goaltender Freddy Andersen, and calmly celebrated with his teammates as he skated to the bench. The subdued reaction felt like Kaprizov’s way of saying, “There will be many more to come.”
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