The 2010 NHL Entry Draft is quickly approaching, and, thus far, the Flames' first pick will be in the third round, 64th overall. I've decided to profile a few players whom the Flames could potentially select come June 25th-26th. Today's player is Chilliwack Bruins forward Kevin Sundher. Ranked 67th by Central Scouting in their final rankings, he moved up 25 spots from his mid-term ranking of 92nd overall.
Junior Team: Chilliwack Bruins
Weight: 188 lbs.
In his second full season with the Bruins, Surrey B.C. native Kevin Sundher accumulated career highs in goals and points (25-36-61), powerplay goals (9), +/- (+9), and PIMS (101). He finished second on the Bruins in scoring behind Flames prospect Ryan Howse on a weak Chilliwack team that scored only 213 goals and finished with the worst record of all playoff-bound WHL teams at 32-33-7 with 71 points. Sundher scored 3-2-5 and was +3 in six playoff games prior to the Bruins' first round loss to the Saskatoon Blades. A quick, smooth-skating forward, Sundher worked hard to improve his shot and bulk up last summer, putting on what he claims is "20-25 pounds of muscle" that aided him in winning puck battles against bigger players in the league, and perhaps explains why the only videos I could find of him were clips of him fighting.
Sundher suited up for Team Canada at the World U-17 Challenge in 2009, where he struggled offensively while getting limited ice time, and feels that rumours that he mishandled his reduced role at the tournament affected his Central Scouting ranking and report with Hockey Canada. He credits head coach Marc Habscheid for helping him work on the "missing parts" of his game and holding him accountable for his mistakes. Sundher admits that he still needs to work on his strength and consistency if he hopes to make an impact at the next level, but a strong performance at the NHL combine may have boosted his draft stock--Sunder finished in the top ten in seven of the physical tests, excelling in long jump and vertical leap, tests that typically indicate skating strength and speed.
Sunder is another name on the list speedy, skilled forward prospects that the Flames lack, but he is also a "work in progress," as most players slotted to go in the third round are. With size, speed, and strength, he has the potential to be the complete package, which has to be appealing to a team without a pick in the first two rounds of the draft.