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?

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.

Next Up

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher basketball

Gophers offense disappears in loss to Northwestern

The Gophers are quickly falling out of NCAA tournament contention.

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.


Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras


Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.


The Wild's salary cap is preventing them from calling up top prospects

Minnesota can't even call up their best players from Iowa.

Bruce Boudreau is rewarding young Luke Kunin with a larger role

Minnesota's bench boss was fed up with his veterans on Tuesday.

Devan Dubnyk

Wild lose Devan Dubnyk, call up prospect from Iowa

Minnesota will be without its mainstay in net.

Wild sign 1st-round pick, 'born leader' Luke Kunin

Luke Kunin might be on the fast track to the NHL.

Wild top prospect Luke Kunin suffers torn ACL

Kunin hadn't been up with the big club for even a week.

Wild prospect leads Team USA in win over Canada

Greenway had a goal and an assist in the win for Team USA in the International World Junior tournament.