A highly intelligent and offensively gifted forward. Has a keen eye for scoring opportunities and has shown flashes of elite-level finishing capability. Works hard and isn't afraid to battle for puck possession. Good hands and puck skills, and has a really accurate release on his shot. Needs to work on his explosiveness, staying in motion with the play, and strength behind his shot. All-in-all, a gifted offensive force with the potential to blossom into a highlight reel player.
An honest, clean player with very good speed and strength, Kunin is a natural goal scorer, blessed with a laser of a shot and excellent instincts. He was unstoppable at last year’s U18 World Championships, scoring six goals in seven games without the benefit of playing on the top line. He’s been just as prolific as a freshman for the rebuilding Badgers, who entrusted him with top line duties.
What BSN Avalanche sees
All I see is Carl Hagelin 2.0. He's fast, shifty, and very skilled. I loved watching Kunin's games as he consistently found ways to make an impact and his production as a freshman on a bad team was very impressive. He should be the face of the Badgers moving forward and whichever team drafts him is getting a hell of a player. He's got a great shot and is blessed with excellent creativity with the puck.
There aren't a lot of downsides here. He isn't likely going to be a superstar moving forward but it's not hard to envision him as a Dylan Larkin-esque player early in his career. He's not a very big player and there might be concerns that his frame has maxed out as he's already pushing 200 pounds on a sub-6' body. He can add some strength moving forward but there's not a lot of room left for him to continue adding.
Somewhere between what Carl Hagelin is and what Kyle Connor ultimately becomes is where I expect Kunin to land. He'll likely be a good second center, third on a really good club, and he definitely has 20-goal potential. There's still questions about how his defensive game develops but even if it struggles to come around, his offense should be enough to get him into the NHL permanently in a few years.
Expected Draft Position
Kunin isn't a guy with a ton of variation and he should hear his name called somewhere between about 13 and 25.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
Another guy the Avalanche would have to move down to take, Kunin would at least address the organization's need for more center prospects. Kunin's speed and tenacity would immediately fit the mindset of the forwards the NHL club has been bringing in the last several years and his speed would not be out of place alongside the burners the Avs already possess. He would be a very good fit but he's only a realistic option if the Avalanche find themselves trading down from 10th overall.