Chuck Fletcher and the Minnesota selected Luke Kunin with the 15th pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
About Luke Kunin
The 5-foot-11 center for the University of Wisconsin Badgers is almost universally praised for his character and intelligence. He’s on the small side, but he’s shown that he can overcome that, scoring and pushing the pace of a game, as he did in his freshman season with Wisconsin.
He scored 19 goals and 32 points in 34 games during his first campaign in the NCAA. People say he’s “18 going on 25,” and he appears to feel he’s ready for the NHL soon too. He said after being drafted that he’s going back to school this season and then believes that he’ll be ready to make the jump to the NHL after that.
Asst #mnwild GM Brent Flahr: Luke is a versatile, 2-way forward that can play center or wing…Tremendous work ethic, great speed & NHL shot
— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) June 25, 2016
On the Minnesota Wild Prospect Pool
The Wild’s greatest need in their prospect pool is getting a scoring forward into the fold. They’re bringing in a lot of players into the AHL this year with Alex Tuch, Sam Anas, Mario Lucia, Adam Gilmour and possibly Pavel Jenys all hitting the pro ranks full time. But outside of possibly Tuch, the team doesn’t have a game-breaking scoring forward. More specifically they really need a center, but any forward will do.
Kunin is a center and he’s very smart in the offensive zone, though he may be a little more in the mold of players the Wild frequently pick than a player who is high-risk, high-reward prospect. He doesn’t appear to be a prospect set to become elite, though some scouts believe his intelligence, stick-handling and release gives him that potential to grow into some special.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) June 25, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.