Luke Kunin Hopes To Go From Wisconsin To Wild

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After a standout sophomore year with the Wisconsin Badgers, Luke Kunin turned pro and continued to turn heads this spring while playing for the AHL's Iowa Wild.

On the heels of a 22-goal season at UW, the 19-year-old team captain joined the Minnesota Wild's AHL affiliate and skated in 12 games, scoring five goals and eight points.

At 6-foot, 196 pounds, Kunin isn't the biggest guy on the ice, but he plays a hard-nosed game and appears poised for NHL success.

Kunin Nets Hat Trick In Third AHL Game

The fearless forward battles hard and was one of the most impressive Wild players during the development camp. He's also an intriguingly cheap option for a cap-strapped team with high ambitions.

After Minnesota re-signs restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter, the team will have 11 locks on the offense, leaving a couple spots up for grabs. Pending moves, Kunin will either make the team as the 12th guy or start the season in the AHL, where he will be able to play each night.

Granlund and Niederreiter are each slated for significant raises after breakout seasons. Newcomer Marcus Foligno is also set for a new contract. The other 16 roster players account for roughly $56 million of the $75 million salary cap.

Add in the $2.5 million cap hit from the Thomas Vanek buyout and the Wild have about $16.5 million to re-sign Granlund, Niederreiter, and Foligno and add another four players for the 23-man roster. 

Drafted 15th overall in 2016, Kunin will start his entry-level contract this season after officially signing with the team in March. He would bring a very manageable cap hit of $925,000 to the strong central team that has watched its division opponents bolster their lineups.

The natural center also brings the ability to play at any of the three forward positions, which is often hard than it sounds given handedness, breakouts, and comfort and awareness.

It's not all about money, though. It's about what's best for the player's development as well as the organization's long-term future.

Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @JMessing23.

Wisconsin Men's Hockey Skates To 7-3 Win Over Michigan

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MADISON, Wis. – Freshman defenseman Josh Ess scored 33 seconds into the game, and Wisconsin (8-5-1, 3-2-0 Big Ten) never looked back in its 7-3 victory over Michigan (6-4-1, 2-2-1 Big Ten) on Friday at the Kohl Center.

Michigan State’s Mitchell Lewandowski Thriving In Freshman Year

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By Jacob Messing

When Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos announced his recruiting class last November, he wasn’t aware he’d never coach it.

Anastos stepped down after his sixth season, believing his five-year plan from 2011 wasn’t seeing progress. One of the consequences was not getting to see how his final recruiting class panned out, including current leading scorer Mitchell Lewandowski.

No. 7 Minnesota Hoping To Roll Past Lowly St. Cloud State

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By Jacob Messing

When the 2-10-0 St. Cloud State Huskies visit Minneapolis this weekend, they’ll be crashing head-first into a veritable steam engine train. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are not only ranked in the top 10, posting a 9-4-1 record over the year, but the hosts are also riding on the fuel of two consecutive series sweeps.

FloHockey will stream the battle live when the puck drops for the first game, Friday at 7 PM EST, and the second game, Saturday at 5 PM.

Wisconsin Men’s Hockey Inks 8 In Early Signing Period

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Press release via Wisconsin Athletics.

MADISON, Wisconsin – Head coach Tony Granato and his Wisconsin men's hockey coaching staff announced Thursday the signing of eight individuals to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

No. 17 Michigan Gaining Momentum Ahead Of Trip To No. 9 Wisconsin

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By Jacob Messing

The battle of the Great Lakes between newly ranked Michigan and top-10 Wisconsin could be over in the first 20 minutes — and not because of a blowout.

Drop The Hammer: Legal And Not-So-Legal NHL Hits

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By Jacob Messing

Last week, FloHockey brought you a collaboration of some of the biggest hits from the past couple weeks.

High And Wide: Rangers, Rivals, and Roughed-Up Ducks

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By Jacob Messing

The Red Wings lost their first shootout in 14 games, the New Jersey Devils continue to win, and Auston Matthews has missed three straight games.

The New York Rangers began the season 1-6-1, an excruciatingly slow start as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist struggled to make up for his team’s defensive lapses and lack of scoring.

Michigan State Splits With No. 7 Wisconsin In Big Ten Men’s Hockey

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By Jacob Messing

It was the worst of games, it was the best of games.

Michigan State’s series with Wisconsin was a tale of two days for the Spartans, who on Friday lost a wild 6-3 shootout to the Badgers only to turn around and smash a 2-0 shutout of their opponents at home in East Lansing, Michigan.

Badgers Suffer Setback Against Spartans, Fall 2-0 In Series Finale

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EAST LANSING, Mich.— The No. 7/10 Wisconsin men’s hockey team will head back to Madison with a series split, falling to Michigan State, 2-0, in the weekend finale on Saturday night.

Wisconsin Scores Season-High Six Goals Against Michigan State

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