The Nashville Predators have announced they have inked restricted free agent forward Luke Kunin to a new two-year deal. The deal is for $4.6 million and has an average annual value of $2.3 million. Kunin was acquired by the Predators from the Minnesota Wild prior to the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Luke Kunin 2x$2.3M in NASH
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 6, 2021
Luke Kunin Signs New Contract with the Predators
Kunin enjoyed a breakout season with the Wild last season. The former 2016 first-round selection had his first double-digit goal-scoring season putting up 15 goals while adding 16 assists for 31 points in 64 games. It was the 23-year-old’s first full season in the NHL after splitting time between the NHL and AHL over the last few seasons. Kunin also registered two goals in four playoff games for the Wild.
Over his career, Kunin appeared in 131 games for the Wild, scoring 23 goals and 29 assists for 52 points.
What This Means for the Future
Kunin is arguably the biggest addition the Predators made during the offseason. The club did bring in veterans Mark Borowiecki and Nick Cousins, however, they don’t have the same upside as Kunin. Considering the Predators moved efficient depth centre Nick Bonino in order to acquire the youngsters as well as two higher draft picks, you could consider it a fairly big trade. Clearly, the Predators think highly of the young forward.
Kunin brings some much-needed scoring punch to the Predators lineup who finished 17th in goals for last season and just 25th in power-play percentage. Outside of Filip Forsberg, the team did not get much scoring from their wingers as Kunin outscored every winger on the Predators last season not named Forsberg. He should immediately slot into the club’s top six playing next to either Matt Duchene or Ryan Johansen. Kunin had a breakout year last year but is just scratching the surface of his potential. He should break out even further this season.