Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#20. Luke Kunin – C/W, University of Wisconsin (Big Ten Hockey)
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
An offensively gifted forward who sparks his team with big goals, Kunin got better and better as his freshman year progressed at the University of Wisconsin, finishing the season with a team-high 19 goals and 32 points while managing top-line minutes for a struggling Badgers squad. To accent the steady ramp-up, Kunin ended the impressive campaign with a season-high seven-game point streak, capturing goals in six of those contests.
While being a deceptive and highly efficient shooter, there’s a lot more to Kunin’s makeup that has scouts thinking of him as potential top-six NHL forward.
He has explosive feet that allow him to separate himself from checkers in two to three steps, and his total effort sees him excel in 1-on-1 battles and help drive the possession game. When he doesn’t have the puck, Kunin has a natural knack for rotating into a scoring position where he knows his teammates can find him.
Prior to getting his freshman season underway, Kunin vaulted himself onto the first-round radar when he paired with fellow St. Louis product and 2016 draft eligible Mathew Tkachuk at the 2015 All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, capturing two goals and one assist in Team Roenick’s 6-4 loss to Team Plante.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).