After selecting him 15th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild have completed the traditional three-year deal for newcomers, bringing Luke Kunin out of the University of Wisconsin and turning him pro. Kunin will finish the year with the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.
Kunin deal is officially done. ATO with Iowa #mnwild
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) March 23, 2017
Minnesota Wild Sign Luke Kunin to Entry-Level Deal
The 19-year old center this season with the Badgers has elevated his game to another level. He scored 22 goals and 38 points in 35 games under first-year head coach Tony Granato. Exceeding expectations, the team went 20-15-1 after a two-year stretch that was quite dark for the program posting a disastrous 12-46-13 record. Granato just three days ago had his input on how ready he thinks Kunin is for the next level.
“Personally, I think he’s ready to play pro hockey. I think his mind’s there. I think his heart’s there. I think that, from a progressive standpoint, he wants another challenge. I think he’s to the point now where ‘college is fun and it’s good and I can do well.’ But from a competitive standpoint, he’s ready for the next one,” Granato told the Wisconsin State Journal.
In addition to the year he had in college, the highlight has to be capturing Gold for the United States World Junior Championship team over Canada as team captain. He scored two goals and six points, playing a vital role on the team’s penalty kill that finished 26 out of 32 in the tournament.
For a full scouting report on Kunin, you can check out LWOS’ prospect guru Ben Kerr’s report on Kunin here.