|Team||Maple Grove HS|
Very clean with the puck, possessing exceptional stick work with the ability to quickly distribute the puck and receive a pass. Makes life easy for the puck distributor as he moves his feet and uses his high hockey IQ to find open lanes.
Uses all of the ice very well. Can stop and start quickly and maneuver in and out of traffic, making it difficult for opposing defenders to track him. Has a good first two steps, creating room between him and his opponent.
Very clever and unpredictable with the puck, he does not have any tells of what he is doing next and has a plethora of scoring methods. His patience with the puck opens-up opportunities to present themselves. Releases his shot quickly and with great accuracy.
Overall Kukkonen’s defensive game is an asset as he maintains great gap control and works just as hard in the defensive zone as he does in the offensive zone.
On his Maple Grove team there’s a D-Man that loves to carry the puck and make offensive rushes. When this happens Kukkonen reads the play and often covers the space that was left vacated when he deems necessary.
Gives his team possession with good face-off skills, especially when he lines up on his backhand. Goes on sprees where he is dominant working the dot.
His exceptional play in the Midwest Elite League has quieted some of the questions regarding him playing against bigger and stronger players.
Has been a top player at each level he has played, showing nice growth and development. Is showing no ill effects from a leg injury that ended his 2019-2020 season. Is one of the most sought-after prospects for the 2021 NHL Draft as his stock continues to rise. Kukkonen projects to be a future captain at Michigan Tech University.
KEY ATTRIBUTES: Acceleration, Mobility, Shot accuracy, Stickhandling ability, Faceoffs, Work ethic, Anticipation, Defensive Reliability, Confidence