The trade marks the end of Kunin’s disappointing tenure with the Predators. The Predators acquired Kunin in 2020 from Minnesota in the Nick Bonino trade, expecting him to develop into a reliable middle-six forward. Injuries curtailed his first season in Nashville in 2021. After he entered this past season with a clean bill of health, many predicted a breakout season from Kunin, but he could only muster a mere 22 points in 82 games.
Kunin is a restricted free agent, and the Predators had until this week to extend a $2.3M qualifying offer.
Leonard, a 2018 sixth-round pick, has played primarily in the AHL, but also has 58 games of NHL experience under his belt (44 games in 2021, 14 last season). He may have a shot of making the Preds as a depth/bottom-line forward this season, but he’ll likely start the year in the AHL.
John Leonard is a former @UMassHockey standout who has 58 games of NHL experience. Scored 32 points in 45 AHL games last year, including 14 EV P1's.— OTF: Preds Prospects (@OnTheFutureOTF) July 8, 2022
Fine puck handler with decent skill, responsible in the DZ, okay skater but doesn't have elite-level speed.#Preds
Thoughts on the trade, Smashville?