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Road to the NHL Draft: Hunter Shinkaruk

By John Vogl

Hunter Shinkaruk

Position: Forward

Junior team: Medicine Hat (WHL)

Born: Calgary, Alberta

Measurables: 5-foot-10, 181 pounds

2012-13 stats: 64 games, 37 goals, 49 assists, 86 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 6

Lowdown: There’s more to hockey than scoring, but it’s still the main goal. Goals are Shinkaruk’s ultimate goal, too. The center is as offensive-minded as they come, with good reason. He filled the net 49 times last year while skating alongside Emerson Etem, who advanced to Anaheim this season. Shinkaruk barely missed a beat without the pro prospect, scoring 37 goals to show he wasn’t merely Etem’s sidekick.

Shinkaruk is explosive, agile and highly skilled. He’s the type of player who creates a buzz in the arena every time he gets the puck with open ice in front of him. He reminds many of Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, the 2011 NHL Rookie of the Year.

As can be expected with someone so focused on offense, defense is not Shinkaruk’s high point. He needs to get better without the puck. He’s also an October birthday, which means he’s spent much of his life competing against less-developed kids. Many things came too easy for the smallish forward.

He said it: "I watched a Daniel Briere interview once, and a lot of people say, ‘Act like you’ve been there before,’ and he said, ‘I’m going to celebrate like it’s the last goal I’m ever going to score.’ So when I score I want to make sure I enjoy it because there’s not many things I love more than scoring." – Shinkaruk in story at

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.


NHL Entry Draft
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |