Some players go their entire careers without being traded. Others get traded multiple times before even going pro. This is the case of Sharks prospect and UConn Huskies forward Maxim Letunov.
The Sharks acquired Letunov in a trade on June 20, 2016 from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a pair of draft picks. But that wasn't the first time he was traded. Originally drafted by the Blues, he was a key piece traded to Arizona in a trade deadline rental for Zbynek Michalek.
Letunov, who just turned 21 on Monday, is likely one of the prospects in the organization with the highest potential. College Hockey News named him a 2nd team Preseason All-American heading into the year.
In his freshman season, Letunov led the Huskies with 40 points, and finished 5th in the NCAA in scoring by freshmen.
This year, Letunov has registered 7 goals and 18 assists in 29 games played. Though his numbers have dipped slightly, Letunov and teammate Tage Thompson have seemed to continuously trade the team lead in scoring multiple times.
"Good size, young, skinny, but you look at three more years, probably put on 20 more pounds," Barracuda coach Roy Sommer said to Zachary Devine during the summer prospect camp. "He's got good hockey sense around the puck and he knows where to go."
Listed at 6'4", 175 pounds, the lanky Russian will likely need to add a little more meat on his bones before he really gets his professional career going. However, he's already seen some success thanks to added weight since his junior career.
"Letunov's added muscle has made him stronger on his skates and better able to fight through traffic, allowing him to use his offensive skills better. He's got the ability to turn a bad pass into a good pass with excellent body control and does a nice job using lateral movement to create space for himself in the offensive zone. He's also really improved his wrist shot in recent years, giving him a deadly scoring weapon." - Nathan Wells, SBN College Hockey.
With a couple more years of college eligibility, Letunov has plenty of time to continue to fill out his frame and become a force before making his pro debut with the Sharks organization.
UConn's regular season wraps up this weekend with a home-and-home series with the University of New Hampshire. The games are a chance to see not just Letunov, but Sharks prospect and Wildcat Marcus Vela as well.
Click here to see the current prospect report.