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Bruins Top 25 Under 25: #14 Craig Cunningham

Oh how coincidental, he's ranked #14 and he wears #14
Oh how coincidental, he's ranked #14 and he wears #14
Steph Vail

Craig Cunningham

#83 (Camp Number) / RW / Boston Bruins

Height: 5-10
Weight: 181
Born: Nov 13, 1990
2012-2013 Numbers: Providence: 25-21-46, 76GP ; Playoffs 3-5-8, 12GP
2012-2013 NHLe: 0.27ppg

Looking for a sleeper pick to make the Boston Bruins out of camp this year? Look no further. Craig Cunningham, a right-shooting RW, put up 46 points for the Providence Bruins in the regular season last year, good for third-best on the team. The Bruins' third line, currently without a right wing, has two left shots in Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly. Cunningham is definitely a candidate for that spot.

Cunningham was drafted in the fourth round in 2010, 97th overall. The Trail, BC native actually won the Memorial Cup with the Vancouver Giants in 2007, alongside fellow Bruin Milan Lucic. Last year with the Providence Bruins, he saw a lot of time on the right wing alongside Carter Camper and Jordan Caron. He played on the first power play unit, and had his first professional hat trick on March 3rd against the Portland Pirates.

Here's one scouting report, courtesy of Kirk Luedeke:

Although not a blazing-fast skater, Cunningham is excellent on his edges and elusive, with quick direction-change ability in open ice. He has a good stick and excels on the forecheck with his vision, anticipation and hustle. Although he lacks elite puck skills, he compensates with a fast release and the willingness to endure punishment in front of the net. An underrated passer who can thread the needle in traffic. When Cunningham takes the puck down low, he’s able to shake defenders in tight areas and work the play out front for quality scoring chances. Plays a clean, if not overly physical game. The winger’s character and work ethic are second to none: the former captain of the Vancouver Giants is extremely well-liked and respected anywhere he goes.

He may not exactly be top-6 material, and his height won't help him much, but in Cunningham's favor, the available slots (third line, possibly fourth line in place of Shawn Thornton) are ones where tenacious, consistent two-way forwards like him may be able to excel.

Our Rankings:

Sarah Cornelius Ecozens Wayne Whittaker Ian McLaren Sean Hathaway TomServo42 BruinsHockeyNow Dan
8 7 14 13 18 24 15 20

Erin: nailed it. Sean seems skeptical. I clearly helped bring his ranking up. But the fact of the matter is - he's been an excellent asset down in Providence, and the question remains to be seen whether he can up his game to the NHL level and compete with players at a speed that's a notch faster than what he's used to. Cunningham was a major reason the P-Bruins made it as far as they did last year, into the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.

Check out this goal (after Sauve's), where he takes a beautiful pass from Carter Camper right to the front of the net: