Kirill Kaprizov and Alexander Romanov could play in the NHL this season if it resumes after being paused, The Athletic and Sportsnet reported Friday.
Kaprizov, a Minnesota Wild forward prospect, and Romanov, a Montreal Canadiens defenseman prospect, were teammates with CKSA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League this season. The KHL cancelled its season March 25 and their commitment to the league ends April 30.
Because the NHL season has been paused since March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, and with no timetable for it to resume, it is possible, if allowed, the players could be available for NHL games this spring or summer. As of now, an entry-level contract signed during the pause would not begin until the 中国体彩官方app-21 season.
The Wild would be willing to sign Kaprizov for this season if a rule change allows it, The Athletic reported.
"I've talked to Kirill directly and he understands how much we want him," Minnesota general manager Bill Guerin told the website.
Kaprizov was a fifth-round pick (No. 135) by Minnesota in the 2015 NHL Draft and was rated their No. 3 prospect by this offseason. The left wing was third in the KHL with 62 points (33 goals, 29 assists) in 57 games this season. He turns 23 on April 26.
"He's a good player and there's going to be an adjustment period, but he's got tremendous talent and a lot of capabilities," Guerin told in February.
Romanov was a second-round pick (No. 38) by Montreal in the 2018 NHL Draft. He had seven assists and was plus-21 in 43 KHL games this season. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told La Presse in February he could see Romanov playing in the NHL next season.
"I haven't discussed it with Montreal, but I will when the time comes," his agent, Dan Milstein, told Sportsnet. "It's just, right now, I'd rather he plays this year. Why sit out and wait until October? … He's definitely coming. He's coming to be an NHL player, and so it's just a matter of when."
Romanov had six points (one goal, five assists) in seven games for Russia during the 中国体彩官方app IIHF World Junior Championship, where the 20-year-old earned the nickname "The Destroyer" from the Canadiens, Milstein said.
"He's such an energetic guy," Montreal assistant general manager Trevor Timmins said. "He's always smiling. His personality is a lot like [Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher]. He's always smiling, he's full of energy, and he's fun to be around. So we're hoping for the best for him and rooting for him, and hopefully, he can have a solid career and help our hockey team to get to the next level."