Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov delivered one of the best moments of the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend.
Kaprizov paid tribute to fellow Russian countryman Alex Ovechkin in the Breakaway Challenge at the 2022 NHL Skills Competition on Friday. Ovechkin couldn’t participate in NHL All-Star Weekend due to a positive COVID test.
While Ovechkin couldn’t be at All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, Kaprizov did his best to honor the Russian legend. The “Anything Goes Breakaway Challenge” presented a perfect opportunity for Kaprizov to pay tribute.
Kaprizov began his tribute by taking off his Minnesota jersey and donning a red Capitals’ Ovechkin jersey. He also swapped his green Minnesota helmet for Washington’s white lid.
Kaprizov followed Ovechkin’s routine to the tee the entire time. Keeping with the details, Kaprizov squirted gatorade on the ice and switched to a right-handed stick just like Ovie uses.
The best part of Kaprizov’s tribute was his “stick on fire” celebration after scoring. Ovechkin famously cooled off his stick after scoring his 50th NHL goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009.
You can watch Kaprizov’s awesome tribute to Ovechkin below.
It doesn’t get any better than this:
There were six judges for the NHL Breakaway Challenge event. They awarded Kaprizov an average 8 out of 10 for his attempt. Vegas blueliner Alex Pietrangelo won the event with a perfect score in front of his home fans.
Ovechkin acknowledged the awesome tribute from Kaprizov on social media. Kaprizov looked up to Ovechkin as a kid, which makes it even more special. It’s sad we aren’t seeing these two superstars team up for Russia at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Ovechkin tweeted “Not bad!!!:)))))” in response to Kaprizov’s tribute at the Skills Competition.
Not bad!!! :))))) https://t.co/QjP5g3SFaf
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) February 5, 2022
NHL All-Star Weekend gets plenty of hate, but this was a pretty cool moment. Even though Kaprizov didn’t win the competition, the Minnesota forward deserves full credit for going all out with his tribute to Ovechkin.