Ryan Kujawinski THW Close-Up:
Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Birthdate: March 30, 1995
Hometown: Iroquois Falls, Ontario
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 205 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013
THW Ranking (January 2013): 37th
CSS Final Rankings (North American skaters): 63rd
TSN (Craig Button) Ranking: 75th
Consensus Aggregate Ranking (NHL Numbers): 45th
Potential is a word used a lot when describing Ryan Kujawinski. He has all the tools to be a succcessful NHLer, he’s big and can play physical, he’s an excellent skater and has a wicked shot.
Unfortunately the other word used to frequently describe him more and more is inconsistent. There are nights when he is dominant, both in terms of his offense play as well as setting the physical tone and running over opposing players.
The problem has been that there have been nights where his play appears lackluster, he shows very little physical push back and is generally too passive.
Selected 4th overall in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection by the Sarnia Sting, he found himself playing limited minutes on the fourth line with the Sting and appeared to be not progressing as they expected. A mid season trade in 2012 to the Kingston Frontenacs seemed to spark him as he put up 30 points in the remaining 30 games.
This season he finished with 48 points in 66 games, good for second in team scoring. While he did surpassed last season’s numbers, his play and results werent’ to the level expected of him based on his offensive potential from the previous year.
He struggled in certain stretches and at times was getting plenty of chances and just couldn’t bury one. Playing on a very young and inexperienced Frontenacs team meant many frustrating nights, but more had generally been expected of Kujawinski.
He still remains one of the top OHL talents for the draft, but his ranking has continued to slide as the year has gone on. The more that inconsistency seemed to follow him, the more it was perceived he had not taken the next step expected in his progression.
Kujawinski has the talent and skill set to be a top six forward in the NHL, the question will be, is what team will take a chance that he will realize that potential.
“The biggest thing is — and he’s not alone in this category — consistency,” Darren Keily conceded, following a regular-season 5-2 loss to the Oshawa Generals. “He’s going to have to bring ‘it’ each and every shift … He’s going up against [Generals forward Boone] Jenner, seasoned guys that are two years older, and world junior guys. That’s something Ryan really has to do, is find a consistency shift after shift after shift. And that’s hard to do when you’re up against older guys.”
– Darren Keily, Frontenacs Assistant Coach/GM
“Kujawinski is an intriguing talent as he has a pro frame and dynamic skating ability. His explosiveness and ability to create off the rush make it extremely difficult for defenders when he’s on his game.”
“Kujawinski has shown flashes of dominance which have been marred by sustained periods of ineffectiveness. When he’s on, he has a Top 15 skillset in this draft, but NHL teams will have to really do their work in determining whether or not they’re getting the Top 15 Kujawinski, or the inconsistent enigma.”
– Brock Otten, OHL Prospects
Where He’ll End Up in June:
Kujawinki has the tools to go higher than his ranking, but has been plagued by inconsistency. Look for him to go in the early to mid third round.
In The O Radio Show – March, 2013
Kujawinski has participated in the U17 (Ontario) and U18 Championships for Canada
Risk: 3.5/5 Reward: 4.5/5
Top six forward skill set
- Protects the puck well
Flaws/Aspects He Needs to Work On:
- Defensive play
Offensive: 7.5/10 Defensive: 5.5/10
Has a Ryan Getzlaf type skill set, and although no one is suggesting he is at the Ducks’ captain’s level, if he realizes his potential he could be a Getzlaf-lite player for someone.
Carl covers the Edmonton Oilers for THW as well as providing additional prospect coverage. Follow him on twitter @carlTHW, connect on Facebook or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, comments or if you’re interested in him writing for you.