Photo: Wisconsin Badgers
Press Release from the Minnesota Wild:
MINNESOTA WILD AGREES TO TERMS WITH FORWARD LUKE KUNIN
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has agreed to terms with forward Luke Kunin (pronounced KUHN-in) on a three-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2017-18 season. He will report to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL) on an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) for the remainder of this season.
Kunin, 19 (12/4/97), totaled 38 points (22-16=38) and 30 penalty minutes (PIM) in 35 games during his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin (Big-10), leading the team in goals, points, PPG (9) and shots (112), and ranking T-1st in SHG (2) and T-3rd in GWG (2). The native of Chesterfield, Mo., ranked second amongst Big-10 players in goals, T-2nd in SHG, T-3rd in PPG, seventh in scoring and ninth in shots. The 6-foot, 197-pound forward also served as captain of the Badgers in 2016-17, being named to the position as an 18-year-old and serving as the team's first sophomore captain in 41 years. He also served as the captain of Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, helping the U.S. capture a gold medal with four points (2-2=4) in seven games.
Kunin totaled 70 points (41-29=70) and 32 PIM in 69 career games during two seasons at Wisconsin (2015-17). In 2015-16, as the second-youngest player in the NCAA, he ranked second on the Badgers with 32 points (19-13=32) and 17 PIM in 34 games - his 19 goals led the team and were T-6th in team history for most goals by a freshman. He became the first Badger to be named to the Big-10 All-Freshman Team and ranked T-3rd in goals and T-8th in scoring amongst NCAA freshmen.
During his career, Kunin has represented Team USA at seven international tournaments - winning the championship six times and finishing second once. He captained the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, leading the team and ranking T-3rd in the tournament with six goals in seven games. He totaled 37 points (21-16=37) and 39 PIM in 52 games during two seasons (2013-15) with the U.S. National Junior Development Program, serving as captain with the Under-18 Team in 2014-15. Kunin was selected by Minnesota in the first round (15th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.