Thursday marked the final regular-season game of the 2019-20 season for CSKA Moscow and their star forward, Minnesota Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov. As the team embarks on a playoff quest to win their second consecutive Gagarin Cup, we will kick off a weekly segment highlighting Kaprizov and his club as his contract with the team concludes at the end of their playoff run.
[caption id=attachment_61621" align="alignnone" width="1554] via eliteprospects.com[/caption]
As the regular season concluded on Thursday, Kaprizov wrapped up his second consecutive goal-scoring title in the KHL with 33 on the season, including one in the season finale -- a 6-1 win. He finished the season third in the league in points with 62, behind Vadim Shipachyov (65) and Dmitrij Jaskin (63). His production before hitting the age of 23 has been some of the best in the history of the KHL.
With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, CSKA will kick off its title defense against eighth-seeded Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Monday. They finished the season as the top team in the West with 94 points, just narrowly edging out SKA with 93 points to secure home-ice advantage through the Western Conference portion of the playoffs. The team scored the most goals in the league (202) and had the fewest goals against (99), making them a formidable foe that only lost 17 times in 62 games over the year.
All eyes in Minnesota will now shift to Kaprizov, as once his season ends -- or CSKA repeats as Gagarin Cup Champions -- he will be free from his contract and can sign with Minnesota. Wild fans will no doubt want a quick resolution to the contract following the conclusion of his season, as he represents the potential of a talent the Wild have not had since Marian Gaborik roamed these parts.
Below is the schedule for the first four games of CSKA's first-round matchup against Torpedo, in the best-of-seven series, should you want to tune in to watch Minnesota's prized prospect:
Game 1, Monday 3/2: Torpedo at CSKA 19:30 (10:30 AM Minnesota time)
Game 2, Wednesday 3/4: Torpedo at CSKA 19:30 (10:30 AM Minnesota time)
Game 3, Friday 3/6: CSKA at Torpedo 19:00 (10:00 AM Minnesota time)
Game 4, Sunday 3/8: CSKA at Torpedo 17:00 (8:00 AM Minnesota time)
Stay tuned every Friday through the end of the CSKA season for updates on the team and Kaprizov as the Wild prospect embarks on what is hopefully his final games in the KHL before coming over to Minnesota next season.