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Wild call up one of their top prospects in Luke Kunin

He loves to shoot the puck – but will he be able to do enough to stick around?
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With a depleted core of forwards, the Wild recalled top prospect Luke Kunin on Friday.

Kunin, who nearly made the team in training camp, is just 19 years old and is a former first-round pick.

The teenager has barely played professionally – just two games at the AHL level – as he wrapped up his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin last spring.

Related: Niederreiter, Coyle, Foligno injured in win over Chicago.

Who is this guy?

In his two seasons at Wisconsin, Kunin put up 70 points (41 goals, 29 assists) in 69 games. The guy loves to shoot the puck. 

His performance at the World Juniors Tournament last January was also impressive, as he captained Team USA to a gold medal with 6 points in nine games.

Kunin, who's 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, can play wing, but he's predominately played center in his career.

Why is he here?

After the Wild lost Mikael Granlund on opening night last week, they then lost forwards Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederrieter and Marcus Foligno to injuries on Thursday in their win over the Blackhawks.

So Minnesota needs some bodies.

The Wild sent down defenseman Mike Reilly to make room for Kunin. Reilly, who played well in the team's first three games, had an option remaining that didn't require waivers, which is why he was sent down.

Will he stick around?

Considering Kunin nearly made the team in the preseason, clearly head coach Bruce Boudreau likes his game. 

If Kunin can show he can score at the NHL level, while not being a liability defensively, the sky's the limit.

Related: – The Wild face a major salary cap problem

However, the reason Kunin didn't make the team out of training camp was because the Wild are strapped to their salary cap.

So once Coyle, Niederrieter and Foligno are all healthy enough to return from injuries, Kunin may unfortunately be the odd man out again.

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