Word out of Chicago today has Tampa Bay prospect Luca Cunti coming to North America to play for the USHL‘s Chicago Steel. Cunti, a skilled Swiss sniper, had previously let it be known that he wasn’t all that interested in playing in North America unless it was at the NHL or NCAA level. He changed that tune after he was drafted and indicated he would like to go the NCAA route. A St. Cloud recruit, Cunti had trouble getting through the NCAA clearing house and will apparently report to the Steel.
An initial glance at Cunti’s numbers in the various Swiss leagues he played in will tell you that he has all-world talent. What the numbers don’t tell you is that Cunti lives a privileged life in Switzerland. Scouts and GM’s drool over the adjectives used to describe his skills; soft-hands, dynamic, fluid, explosive. The problem here is that GM’s get so jazzed by the superlatives that they fail to notice stinging phrases such as “likes to be an entertainer rather than a hockey player”, “cancerous” and “un-coachable“.
Consider this quote from a Bolts prospect website:
Cunti ranks 3rd for Red Line’s Cournoyer Trophy for the best skater in this draft and the 13th best natural goal scorer. He also, unfortunately ranks 2nd for the “Scarecrow Award” for those with “$5 million dollar skills and 10 cent heads” with the damning sentence, “Played on three teams this year and every dressing room was pleased when he left.” Ouch.
That being said, if I was being paid $850,000 tax-free to live on a lake and chase Swiss Misses all day, I might be self-absorbed too. I love inside information like this because it helps to give insight into how a player will perform in certain situations. Will a talented Swiss forward give 100% on a cold January night with his team trailing 2-1 late in a game in Kearney, Nebraska, or will his mind drift to nuzzling in some female fan’s Swiss Alps at the chalet? Seems like there is a definite LACK of pulse with this prospect.