Vancouver Giants center and Western Hockey League’s Player of the Month for October Craig Cunningham
is off to a fantastic start, racking up 40 points and 20 penalty minutes in just 23 games so far this season. His 40 points and 32 assists lead the WHL in those categories.
“It’s a great honor,” he said of his recognition.
“Obviously, being back in junior as a twenty year old, it’s an important year for me. It’s my last kind of kick at the can, so it’s important for me to get off to a good start and hopefully I can keep it going.”
The Boston Bruins drafted Cunningham in the 4th round, 97th overall, of the 2010 draft series.
A center standing at only 5’10,” the Trail, BC native is still a powerful force on the ice.
“I think being a smaller guy, I think the biggest thing is my strength and my speed.
“The biggest thing for me is working on my skating and on my strength, then hopefully one day I’ll be ready to make the next step.”
The 20 year-old winger is using his experience with the team to hone his leadership abilities.
“This is my fifth year in the [Giants] organization, so I kind of know how things work.
“[Helping] younger guys, make them believe in the coaching and the system...guys are starting to believe a lot more in our system and in our coach, which is big for us.”
During the 2009-10 season in Vancouver, he earned himself a spot as the Western Conference finalist for the WHL Player of the Year award when he netted 37 goals and 60 assists for 97 points, sixth in WHL scoring.
Cunningham has his sights set high, and looks to Bruins veterans for inspiration.
“[Players] like [Milan] Lucic, I got to learn from as a young guy. Those guys were role models for me when I was first coming in to the game.
“Just to see how hard they played and how hard they worked off the ice was a key in getting to where I am today and hopefully getting into the next step here.”