Luca Cunti

Basics

Type: 
Out of Organization
Position: 
Left Wing
Shoots/Catches: 
Left
Height: 
6.01
Weight: 
190
Born: 
07/04/1989
Age: 
24
Hometown: 
Zurich, SUI
Acquired: 
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 3 (#75) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Rimouski (QMJHL)
Projects As: 
Top 6 Forward
Prospect Ranking: 
20

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Drafted
Draft Year: 
2007
Draft Type: 
NHL Entry Draft
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Round: 
3
Pick No.: 
75
Draft Team: 
GCK (SUI-2)

Contract

Contract Status: 
Unsigned

Bio

History: 

Junior Career

Luca is the product of Switzerland's GCK Lions junior program where he rose quickly as a leader for their Junior A team. In 2005 he played for Switzerland's U18 World Junior Championship team scoring 1 goal and 2 points in 6 games with a -2 rating which tied for the team lead in scoring as the Swiss finished 9th in the tournament. In 2005-2006 he made his men's league debut in the second tier NLB going scoreless in 7 games with 2 penalty minutes. In 2006-2007 he played 13 games with GCK's Junior A team scoring 9 goals and 16 points in 13 games with 22 penalty minutes. He also played 10 games at the NLB level split between GCK and HC Thurgau in which he totaled 2 goals and 3 points with 8 penalty minutes. At midseason he appeared in 3 games for Switzerland's U20 World Junior Championship team and was scoreless as the Swiss ended the tournament by going 3-0 in the relegation round. After his club team season he appeared in 6 games for Switzerland's U18 World Junior Championship team scoring 3 goals and 4 points with 6 penalty minutes and a -5 rating. The Swiss team finished 6th in the tournament. He was rated the 12th best European skater in his draft class by the NHL Central Scouting Service and the 54th best prospect by Red Line Report. Cunti was drafted by the Chicago Steel of the USHL and was place on their July 1, 25-man protected list for the 2007-2008 season. He was passed over in the CHL Import Draft. The Lightning selected Cunti in the 3rd round, 75th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. After a short recruiting period, Cunti committed to play for Saint Cloud State of the NCAA and enrolled at the school for the Fall semester. Unfortunately, the NCAA was extremely slow to make a decision regarding Cunti's elligibility due to the handful of professional games Cunti played in the NLB in Switzerland. At the Fall semester Cunti was compelled to leave school rather than face the possibility of not playing any hockey at all in the 2007-2008 season and he joined the Steel in the USHL. With Chicago, Cunti lived up to his reputation as a scorer by potting 11 goals and 32 points in 34 regular season games in his first taste of North American hockey. Cunti also added 28 penalty minutes and was +16 in the regular season. Cunti's presence helped the Steel lock up the final playoff spot in their division and pull off a stunning first round upset of top seeded Indiana in the playoffs. Cunti finished tied for second on the Steel in playoff scoring with 2 goals and 5 points in 6 games with 2 penalty minutes and a +1 rating. Unfortunately, prior to the playoffs, he received final word from the NCAA that he is inelligible to ever play in the NCAA. Cunti was selected by Rimouski Oceanic in the 2008 CHL draft and will play at least a year in juniors.

Professional Career

Cunti was selected by Rimouski Oceanic in the 2008 CHL draft, so his pro career is on hold for at least another season.

Scouting Report

Strengths: 

Cunti is an outstanding skater with an almost perfect stride mechanically. He's also an elite level puckhandler with no shortage of slick one on one moves. Good puckhandler with an above average shot and loves to shoot the puck from all angles. Red Line Report compared Cunti's skill level to that of NHLer Alexei Kovalev.

Weaknesses: 

Cunti was passed over until the third round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft primarily because of character concerns. Many scouts viewed him as a selfish player who could be a potential cancer in the dressing room with Red Line Report characterizing him as a "fabulously skilled but cancerous" potential second liner. Cunti also has a knock for being invisible in the defensive third of the ice.

Projection: 

Cunti has defied his critics by choosing to cross the pond to play in the NCAA for St. Cloud State, diffusing concern he would stay in Switzerland rather than come to North America. Unfortunately, the NCAA's decision to deny Cunti elligibility to play hockey cost the young winger the opportunity to learn his trade in an ideal environment under head coach Bob Motzko. Now it will be imperative for Cunti to find somewhere to learn the defensive and physical side of the game in order to prepare for life as a pro. Make no mistake, Cunti is a boom or bust prospect. He now is in the right situation to blossom as a player, but it will ultimately up to him to capitalize on his amazing potential.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2004-2005 GCK Lions U20Elite Jr. A- - -- -|        
  DübendorfSwitzerland32 0 00 0|        
  Switzerland U18WJC-186 1 12 0|        
 2005-2006 GC Küsnacht LionsNLB7 0 00 2|        
  DübendorfSwitzerland36 1 56 0|Playoffs6 2 24
 2006-2007 GCK Lions U20Elite Jr. A13 9 716 22|        
  GC Küsnacht LionsNLB5 1 12 0|        
  ThurgauNLB5 1 01 6|        
  WeinfeldenSwitzerland31 2 02 0|        
  DübendorfSwitzerland311 8 816 18|Playoffs10 4 711 10 
  Schweiz U-20NLB3 0 00 2|        
  Switzerland U18WJC-186 3 14 6|        
  Switzerland U18 (all)International-Jr24 6 612 6|        
 2007-2008 Chicago SteelUSHL34 11 2132 37|Playoffs6 2 35
  Switzerland U20 (all)International-Jr3 1 01 0|        
 2008-2009 Rimouski OcéanicQMJHL57 20 2545 32|        
  Rimouski OcéanicM-Cup4 2 02 2|        
 2009-2010 LangnauNLA12 1 12 4|        
 2010-2011 GC Küsnacht LionsNLB42 9 2332 80|        
 2011-2012 ZSCNLA35 11 1324 18|Playoffs15 1 78
 2012-2013 ZSCNLA44 10 2030 18|Playoffs12 2 35
  ZSCET1 1 01 0|        
  SwitzerlandWC10 2 35 2|        
  Switzerland (all)International20 4 913 2|        
 2013-2014 ZSCNLA46 18 2644 60|Playoffs15 3 58 10 
  ZSCET6 1 12 2|        
  SwitzerlandOG4 0 00 0|        
  Switzerland (all)International6 0 33 2|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com