Tauros’ Kukkonen drafted by NHL’s Ducks
Forward Kyle Kukkonen will be taking the next step in his hockey career.
The Maple Grove, Minnesota native was selected 162nd overall with the second pick in the sixth round of the NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.
This past year, Kukkonen tied for the Tauros team lead with five points in five games in the postseason, and posted 16 points on nine goals and seven assists in 19 regular season games. Prior to joining the Minotauros for this past campaign, Kukkonen tallied 74 points in 23 games while with Maple Grove High School.
Meanwhile, Kukkonen expressed his emotions after learning of his selection. “The feeling of being drafted is unbelievable. After getting that call, I couldn’t be more thankful. it was super exciting and I look forward to the future,” he stated. “My time in Minot was absolutely amazing. The coaching and the facilities helped me develop into the player I am today. I can’t thank the organization enough.”
Kukkonen becomes the third Tauro or Tauro alum with NHL ties and the second to be an NHL draft pick. Tauro alum Blake Lizotte (Tauro 2014-15) signed with the Los Angeles Kings as an undrafted free agent out of St. Cloud State and will be going into his third NHL season this fall. Goaltender Merrick Madsen (Tauro 2013-14) was selected with the 11th pick in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.