Badgers stay hot on recruiting trail, add St. Louis forward Luke Kunin

Luke Kunin makes a pass in a game vs. Shattuck St. Mary's earlier this season. - Tammy Bobbitt Dunne

After adding one of the top 1997-born players on Monday in Brock Boeser, the Badgers locked up fellow top '97 prospect Luke Kunin on Friday.

A good week for the Badgers' hockey program became great Friday, when 1997-born St. Louis product Luke Kunin gave Wisconsin a verbal commitment. Earlier in the week fellow top 1997-born prospect Brock Boeser out of Burnsville, Minn., gave the Badgers his pledge.

"It's known as one of the best collegiate organizations,'' Kunin told the Wisconsin State Journal Friday. "The facilities are top of the line. Madison's a great place. I think it's going to be a great fit.''

Listed at 5-feet-10, 150-pounds, Kunin spent last season with the St. Louis Blues U16 team. Playing in the Tier 1 Elite League, Kunin registered 32 goals and 74 points in 39 league games.

Just a freshman in high school, Kunin will spend the next two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program. Kunin told Andy Baggot of the State Journal that the plan is for him to come to Madison for 2016, but that he would like to accelerate his studies to join the Badgers for the 2015 season.

According to Baggot, Kunin had many college offers, but ultimately chose the Badgers over Denver and Miami.

Kunin participated at the USA Hockey Select 15 festival last summer, and was ranked by the U.S. Hockey Report as the No. 13 forward in camp.

"St. Louis Jr. Blues forward has an excellent stick and a quick release. Is deceptively fast and can really turn it on when he spots a hole in the defense. Is creative and makes plays, but we see him more as a pure finisher. Will score a lot of goals as he progresses up the ranks."

I had a chance to watch Kunin last spring at the Central District tryouts in Fond du Lac, and came away very impressed with the native of Chesterfield, Mo.

"Showed off his slick hands a few different times and can fly up and down the ice. Really like his potential."

At this point I think it's safe to say that any reservations Badgers fans may have had with assistant coach Gary Shuchuk in terms of recruiting should be over. Shuchuk has really done a nice job on the recruiting trail, nabbing elite players like Seamus Malone and Christian Dvorak to go along with Boeser and Kunin this week.

Wisconsin still has some work to do in the 2014 class, but 2015 and 2016 are looking promising based upon early returns.

Wisconsin Committed Recruits (2012-13 Stats)
Player
Team
POS
Arrival
Size
DOB
GM
G
A
Pts
Matt Berkovitz
Ashwaubenon HS
D
14 or 15
6'1, 170
2/16/96
23
11
14
25

Team Wisc U16





5
29
34
Grant Besse
Benilde
F
2013
5'10, 185
7/14/94
28
48
28
76

Team Northwest




4
2
0
2

Omaha (USHL)




7
4
0
4
Brock Boeser
Burnsville HS

15 or 16
5'11, 175
97
19
12
22
34
Aidan Cavallini
Brookings (NAHL)

2013
5'10, 181
1/1/92
37
12
11
23

South Shore (EJHL)




19
2
3
5
Tim Davison
Chicago (USHL)
D
2013
5'10, 168
3/2/94
57
5
8
13
Christian Dvorak
Mission U18
F
14 or 15
6'0, 165
2/2/96
42
24
38
62

Chicago (USHL)




9
2
3
5
Keegan Ford
Dubuque (USHL)
D
14 or 15
5'8, 175
5/30/96
51
4
13
17
Luke Kunin
St. Louis (U16)
F
15 or 16
5'10, 150
12/4/97
39
32
42
74
Jake Linhart
Green Bay (USHL)
D
2014
5'9, 152
1/17/96
58
1
6
7
Seamus Malone
Dubuque (USHL)
F
2015
5'9, 158
5/6/96
59
8
22
30
Corbin McGuire
Jersey (EJHL)
F
2013
5'9, 175
3/2/94
29
6
13
18
Jedd Soleway
Penticton (BCHL)
C
2014
6'2, 208
5/12/94
37
19
21
40

Vernon (BCHL)




27
5
12
17
Peter Tischke
Mission U18
D
2014
6'1, 190
1/3/96
45
4
15
19

Chicago (USHL)




4
0
0
0
Wisconsin Committed Recruits (Goalies)
Player
Team
POS
Arrival
Size
DOB
Rec
GAA
Sv %
SO
Gabe Grunwald
Georgetown
G
2013
6'3, 190
3/15/993
14-10-1
2.84
.906

For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter --
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)

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