Anaheim Ducks prospect Kyle Kukkonen's journey is making him a better player
There is always extra risk associated with drafting players out of the American high school circuit, as the Anaheim Ducks did when they drafted Kyle Kukkonen 162nd overall in the sixth round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Their development cycle is generally longer, and not every team is willing to let those players take the time necessary to hone their skills.
Then again, Kukkonen's track record is already pretty advanced for a player drafted under those circumstances. He posted 74 points in 23 games for Maple Grove High, 31 of them goals, He won the BHS Player of the Year Award and was a Mr. Hockey finalist. That sort of résumé proved impossible for NHL teams to ignore.
A year prior, though, things didn't look quite as rosy for Kukkonen. He broke his leg and had extensive torn ligaments in hi
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