Wild's Kaprizov scores with performance bonuses during rookiw season

·3 min read

ST. LOUIS – Kirill Kaprizov's first regular season in the NHL is over, and the rookie is cashing in.

Before sitting out the Wild's finale Thursday against the Blues, Kaprizov had already maxed out the performance bonuses in his contract paid by the Wild, earning an extra $631,707 this season.

Kaprizov received bonuses for goals, points, point per game, and ice time and for finishing in the top 10 in the NHL in goals. The 24-year-old is also eligible to get bonus money from the NHL for being a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie and for ranking in the top 10 in the NHL for goals among forwards.

As part of the transition rules laid out before the season, the thresholds for these bonuses and the payouts were prorated to reflect the shortened schedule. Winning the Calder Trophy usually nets a $212,500 bonus, but the prorated amount is approximately $145,121.

The Calder Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, with voters ranking the top five candidates. A 10-7-5-3-1 points system is used to determine three finalists.

In July 2020, Kaprizov signed an entry-level contract that expires after this season. He received a $92,500 signing bonus and $832,500 in salary. But amid the hit the NHL took financially from the COVID-19 pandemic, the players agreed to defer 10% of their salaries and signing bonuses this season to be paid out in three installments in 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also, 20% of player salaries this season are held in escrow to figure out a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue between the players and owners.

Through 55 games, Kaprizov set single-season Wild rookie records in goals (27), assists (24), points (51), power play goals (8), even-strength goals (19) and even-strength points (38) while averaging 18 minutes, 18 seconds of ice time.

He led the Wild in goals, points, power play goals and even-strength points. Kaprizov also paced NHL rookies in all those categories except even-strength points, where he ranked second; his even-strength goals were also tops among first-year players, and his points per game clip (0.93) was first on the Wild and in the league for rookies who played at least three games.

Dallas' Jason Robertson finished second in rookie points and tied for second in goals, ending up with six fewer points and 10 fewer goals than Kaprizov. Robertson's 28 assists were the most for rookies.

Resting upAside from Kaprizov, the Wild also rested forwards Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello and defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin for Thursday's regular-season finale.

Zach Parise, who was a healthy scratch the previous three games, drew into the lineup, along with defenseman Brad Hunt. Forwards Luke Johnson and Kyle Rau and defenseman Dakota Mermis were also recalled from the taxi squad to suit up. Kaapo Kahkonen started in net, with Cam Talbot backing him up.

Coach Dean Evason said none of the players held out is injured.

Schedule setPuck drop for Game 1 of the playoffs is 2 p.m. Sunday, and Game 2 is 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Games 3 and 4 at Xcel Energy Center will be next Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 22, at 7 p.m.

If necessary, Games 5, 6 and 7 are May 24, 26 and 28. Start times are to be determined.

Off the tableThe Wild won't need to send a seventh-round draft pick to the Penguins to complete the Nick Bjugstad trade.

That pick was conditional on Bjugstad playing in 70 games or registering 35 points, benchmarks that were prorated to approximately 48 games and 24 points, and Bjugstad did not meet those marks in his first season for the Wild after getting acquired last September. So the Wild will retain its draft choice.

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