MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov continues to turn heads just two games into the season, and the National Hockey League is taking notice.
Kaprizov was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday as the Wild are 2-0 after a pair of 4-3 overtime wins at the L.A. Kings to open the season.
In his NHL debut last Thursday night, Kaprizov scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the Wild’s win on a breakaway after stealing the puck. Kaprizov also had two assists in that game as the Wild came back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to force overtime. Kaprizov became the third player in NHL history to score an overtime goal in his debut.
It's only been two games, but Kaprizov has earned the hype that came with him from Russia.
"He’s just a very humble, hard working kid. He just wants to win and play hockey. I think you can see from his work ethic he’s not satisfied with just one game. He’s been a big part of the two wins that we’ve had, but every day he comes in he’s ready to work, and he works hard," defenseman and captain Jared Spurgeon said.
Saturday, Kaprizov had the primary assist on Marcus Johansson’s goal in overtime in another 4-3 win over the Kings. Minnesota forced overtime after Matt Dumba tipped a shot in from Ryan Suter with 0.3 seconds left in regulation.
Kaprizov became the first player in NHL history to record points in overtime in each of his first two games.
"It’s all team, all work. He just goes about his business, does the right things," Wild coach Dean Evason said.