#5. Hunter Shinkaruk
As a late birthday, left winger Hunter Shinkaruk has been on the draft radar longer than other players but like Seth Jones will be one of the older prospects in this draft class. Hunter had a impressive rookie campaign that saw him net 42 points in 63 games. Then he exploded for 91 in his full sophomore season. This year at his current pace he could possibly top the 100 point mark and that is without Etem Emerson who was a linemate of his last year in route to a successful year. Hunter has recognized the attention on him this year comes with great difficulties. He is no stranger to adversity. Hunter states “I was getting hit after whistles more than before whistles,” he said. “But that’s what I want, to have that spotlight and to be the best player I can be.”
Shinkaruk will need to tighten up defensively scouts will agree. “He has a lot to learn, as all young kids do,” said one scout. “Hunter was always so gifted growing up that he was allowed to get away with some things defensively. Now he needs to learn to play a team game.” Hunters speed is his greatest assest. He is listed as at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds but most scouts aren’t worried about him handling the rigors of the pro game. “He’s not that small anymore,” said one scout. “Look at Patrick Kane or Sam Gagner; they had elements that brought them success. Hunter’s element is his speed. He’s a highly skilled kid and a very explosive skater.”
I have Hunter ranked to start this year at #5 but he will be in tough to stay in that top 5 lottery position at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. It is less of what is wrong with Hunter and more of what is happening with the other players ranked around Hunter. Hunter has the possibility of going anywhere from #4 OV to dropping to #8 OV. As much as they say his size is not a issue it is still a consideration in the overall game of selecting a top draft pick.
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