It would seem to be a pretty good week for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team on the recruiting front.
Forward Luke Kunin, from Chesterfield, Mo., became the second highly regarded 1997-born prospect to commit to UW. He did so Friday, four days after Brock Boeser, from Burnsville, Minn., made the same call. Both are looking at playing for the Badgers in 2015, but it's possible they could come in in 2016.
"It's known as one of the best collegiate organizations,'' Kunin said Friday of UW. "The facilities are top of the line. Madison's a great place. I think it's going to be a great fit.''
Kunin, who turns 16 in December, accounted for 68 points (30 goals, 38 assists) for the St. Louis Blues midget minor team last season. He's been chosen to play for the prestigious U.S. National Team Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2013-14. There he'll skate for former UW winger and captain Don Granato on the under-17 squad.
Kunin, listed at 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, is just completing his freshman year of high school. He said he plans to play two years at the NTDP and is looking at accelerating his schooling to be ready for college when he's done with that stint.
NCAA rules prohibit UW coach Mike Eaves from commenting on recruits until after they sign a National Letter of Intent.
A high-end skater with a knack for scoring goals, Kunin had numerous college offers before ultimately choosing UW over Denver and Miami of Ohio.
Kunin's exposure to the Badgers came on multiple fronts. His family lives in the same neighborhood as former winger Michael Davies and defenseman John Ramage, who just finished his senior season as two-time captain at UW, is from St. Louis.
If that weren't enough, Kunin recalled playing a four-game series against Team Wisconsin when he was in eighth grade. After a strong performance, he said he was in the postgame handshake line when one of the opposing coaches asked Kunin if he wanted to play for Wisconsin.
Before the night ended, Kunin said former Badgers standout John Byce gave him the business card of UW assistant coach Gary Shuchuk.
Kunin said right now the plan calls for him to enroll at UW for 2016, but that he may try to complete three years of high school in two so as to get him to Madison in 2015.
Asked if Major Junior was a consideration, Kunin said, "I'm going to college. An education is important to me and my family.''