by Mark Caswell, Jr.
Utica Comets Director of Hockey Operations Pat Conacher has announced that the club has signed forward Cody Kunyk to an American Hockey League contract for the 2016-17 season.
Kunyk, 26, finished the 2015-16 season second on his team in goals (13) and points (29) with the Gentofte Stars of the Meta Ligaen (Denmark). Prior to playing overseas, Kunyk spent his rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch. He collected 26 points (10-16-26), and 38 penalty minutes in 69 games. He made his pro hockey and NHL debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 13, 2014 and logged 10:12 minutes of ice time.
Prior to turning pro, Kunyk played four seasons with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He was just the 30th player in the NCAA Division I program’s history to generate 100 or more career points. He ranks among the Top-15 scorers in Nanooks history with 60 goals, 73 assists, and 133 points in 148 games. During the 2013-14 season, his senior season, he led the Nanooks in goals (22), points (43), power-play goals (6), and short-handed goals (22). His 34 league points that seasons landed him the WCHA scoring leader honors, en route to being named the WCHA Player of the Year.
The 5’11”, 200-pound native of Sherwood Park, Alberta skated with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders from 2006 to 2010. In those four seasons he posted 169 points (82-89-169) in 165 games. He finished top 10 on his team in scoring during each of his final three years, including a team-leading 87 point campaign during the 2009-10 season. His 44 goals finished amongst league leaders, while his 87 points finished as fifth-most.