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2013 NHL Draft Profile: Hunter Shinkaruk

Examining NHL Draft Prospect Hunter Shinkaruk, Left Wing from the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League.

Hunter Shinkaruk looks to be one of the top level forwards that will be available when the Stars will be drafting at number 10. He's spent the last three seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey league.

He's not the biggest forward in the world at 5-11, 175 but he makes up for the lack of size with some top offensive potential and skating ability. While his size may be a concern for many in today's NHL theres no doubt that his production in the WHL, the most physical and defensive minded of the three CHL leagues, shows that he has the ability to produce against larger opposition.

He hasn't stepped forward offensively this season, only 86 points in 64 games compared to 91 in 66 last season, but he is still an elite offensive threat. Though he's not considered much of a playmaker his points this season predominantly came from assists, rather than goals like previous seasons. Hopefully he will build on this playmaking side of his game to become an all round offensive threat.

Like many elite offensive talents his defensive work could do with some work. However sometimes teams need those players with top level offensive production even if their work in their own zone isn't as good.

Though its a word that can often be over used in the NHL Hunter Shinkaruk also comes with 'Intangibles'. He's leadership material captaining the Medicine Hat Tigers this season and he often leaves everything on the ice. He works hard not just on the ice but off it and is incredibly passonate about every element of the game.

Would the Stars be interested in taking Hunter Shinkaruk at number 10? I think its a very real possibility, especially if there is a run on other top forwards before the Stars pick. He brings a lot that the Stars organisation has in the past valued. He also comes from the Stars favourite league, the WHL, and its likely he is high on the Stars radar. His size, considering the Stars recent attempts to draft size, might be a little off putting but his play in the WHL might make that less of a worry.

Season Team Games Played Goals Assists Points +/- Penalty Minutes
Regular Season
2012-2013 Medicine Hat Tigers 64 37 49 86 -13 44
2011-2012 Medicine Hat Tigers 66 49 42 91 17 38
2010-2011 Medicine Hat Tigers 63 14 28 42 13 24
2012-2013 Medicine Hat Tigers 8 3 3 6 0 8
2011-2012 Medicine Hat Tigers 8 2 9 11 -4 6
2010-2011 Medicine Hat Tigers 14 4 5 9 -2 0

Heres what some further reading on Hunter Shinkaruk:

Dobber Sports

December 2012 - Hunter Shinkaruk is a small, feisty forward with an excellent passing and scoring abilities. He plays hard in all three zones and is a gifted skater. Shinkaruk was one of the most feared scorers in the WHL last year alongside Emerson Etem. He had 49 goals and 91 points last year. Even without his talented linemate , Shinkaruk has continued to score at a good pace with 44 points in 31 games this season. He was one of the last players cut by Team Canada at their World Junior camp. Shinkaruk will need to bulk up before being able to play pro. He is probably two years away from seeing action in the NHL.

Hockey's Future

Also in his third full season in the WHL, Shinkaruk was a prominent offensive contributor with the Tigers as a 16-year-old, posting 42 points in 63 games. Last season, while playing alongside Emerson Etem (ANA), Shinkaruk scored 49 goals and added 42 assists in 66 games.

While offensive prowess is definitely Shinkaruk's calling card, he is capable of committing to the defensive side of the game. He has demonstrated durability in major junior hockey so far, even though he does not dominate physically and tends to be a targeted forward every night out. Persistence can be considered a strong suit, as Shinkaruk actually resurrected his career after bouncing back from a very seriously broken leg during his final season in minor hockey.

With some high octane skill departing from Medicine Hat after last season, the 5'10", 181-pound Shinkaruk finds himself on center stage in the Gas City as a go-to-guy. The Tigers are in tough this season, mired in the middle of the pack among WHL Eastern Conference teams. With 45 points in 33 games so far, he is off to another fast start offensively.

Future Considerations

Shinkaruk is an offensive force whose speed typi- cally stands out among the crowd. He possesses good footwork, nice edge work and balance. He goes into the dirty areas and is not afraid to rub shoulders or make contact. He possesses good hand/eye coordination, a quick shot and can feather a pass on the tape while going full tilt. He's used on both special teams because of his speed and tenacious puck pursuit. Despite his smallish stature, Shinkaruk has shown some strength with the puck and is good at shielding it with a man on him. He possesses good hockey IQ/hockey sense and wants the puck on his stick. He can create offense in an instant with the smallest amount of space afforded him because of his feet, hands and head. Shinkaruk is very opportunistic, has good anticipation on developing plays in both ends of the ice and gets in lanes and sacrifices the body in the name of a scoring chance or defending.

International Scouting Services:

One of the most passionate players you will ever see. Hard working and talented goal producer.
Scouting Report:
Shinkaruk had 49 goals last year and has gone into his draft year with tremendous expectations. One of only a couple of first time draft eligible players who also happen to wear the captain's "C" on their uniforms, Shinkaruk is an extremely valuable contributor on and off the ice. One of the final cuts for Canada's WJC team, Shinkaruk is a very skilled and very intelligent offensive player who can also will offense to happen. He has a great shot, slick hands and knows what to do in almost every of the offensive zone. He tends to shine brightest when needed the most and is no stranger to putting the team on his back. Shinkaruk doesn't take no for answer.
NHL Potential:
Top 6 forward who will contribute offense and will always provide a spark when needed.
Style compares to: David Perron