The lessons learned from Kirill Kaprizov's supernova start to his NHL career
My last piece on Kirill Kaprizov, an analysis of his transition to North American hockey, ran with the title "There will be an adjustment period, but Kirill Kaprizov has all the makings of an NHL star." That statement has held true -- in part. Kaprizov has the trappings of an NHL star, but that adjustment period? There hasn't been one. Kaprizov stepped on the ice with the Minnesota Wild, sized up the competition, and summarily dismantled them in short order, scoring three points in his debut versus the Los Angeles Kings. That trend has sustained itself in the months that followed.
Rarely in prospect evaluation do you get immediate feedback on a projection. When it happens, you have to seize the opportunity to learn from it with the goal of sharpening the next read.
The goal of this follow-up article is to look at Kaprizov's first half of the season, to know what allowed for such a seamless transition from the KHL to the NHL. I will retrace some of my projected weaknesses to see if they did end up being weaknesses and, if so, how he worked around them.
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