Photo by Keystone
While not the traditional analytics darling, Mike Kunzle is another potential undrafted UFA target for the Flyers this offseason. The Swiss League forward had 23 points in 47 games for Zurich of the Swiss League. While it’s not overly impressive there are two things that catch the eyes. One is his point per game ratio jumping by nearly double from his age 20 to age 21 seasons. The second is his size at 6’4″ 205.
So, with a jump like that, from .25 points per game to .49 points per game, there’s a good chance that Kunzle will take the next step forward as he hits his scoring prime next season. The Flyers would be wise to get in on this. At age 21 on signing, he’d be subject to a 3 year ELC and be waiver exempt. This would make him cheap, and if he’s not good, easy to bury in the AHL. This is a low risk high reward signing.
Based on the Vollman method, Kunzle would be good for 14 points in 82 games right now. However, assuming he jumps up again next season, he’s probably capable of hitting 30-35 points during his prime in the NHL. This would make him a solid option for third line and 2nd powerplay duty on the Flyers going forward. Not bad for an undrafted free agent. More importantly, Kunzle would free the Flyers from needing to draft Lawson Crouse and could open up the door to a more skilled player such as Mikka Rantanen or another defender like Ivan Provorov at the 2015 Draft.