YOUNGSTOWN, OH- The Phantoms have signed forward Trevor Kuntar to a USHL tender. Kuntar, a native of Williamsville, NY, is Youngstown’s first tender signing prior to the USHL Phase I Draft.
“I am looking forward to continue to develop my skills with the Phantoms.” Said Trevor Kuntar. “The coaching staff, and team are the right fit for me to become the best player I can be.”
Kuntar is currently a high school sophomore and spent this past season with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres U16 AAA program. In 32 games with the Jr. Sabres in the Tier One Elite League, Kuntar had 27 points (12G-15A) and 46 penalty minutes. The 5’11”, 165 pound left-shot forward is committed to Harvard University at the conclusion of his time in the USHL with the Phantoms.
“Given Trevor's location in Buffalo, our staff has been able to watch Trevor play numerous times starting this past July through the season and we felt that he was an elite level player in this birth class and someone we wanted in our organization moving forward from a player standpoint. In the fall, we had the chance to meet Trevor and his family during a visit with us and that solidified the fact that not only that we could bring to Youngstown a top notch hockey player, but also a great student athlete, person, and parents into our program as well - which means so much to us. We’re ecstatic to sacrifice our first round pick in the Phase One Draft on, May 1st in trade for knowing that we will be getting Trevor’s talent moving forward. Our club knows we are getting a player that will develop into a successful top six caliber forward who plays the right way all over the ice, has a high hockey IQ, will make players around him better, and comes in with an edge and desire to win.” Said Phantoms General Manager Jason Koehler.
With this signing, Youngstown will be forfeiting its first round pick in the 2017 Phase 1 Draft on May 1st.
Kuntar is just the seventh player to sign a USHL tender in Phantoms team history. 2015 first round NHL draft pick Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets) became Youngstown’s first tender back in 2012, along with JJ Piccinich, who was also a fourth round NHL Draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014. Youngstown has tendered one player in each of the past three seasons. Current Phantoms' forwards, Curtis Hall and Max Ellis were tendered last spring in 2016.
United States Hockey League teams are allowed to add, or “tender”, up to two players that are eligible for Phase I of the upcoming draft to their roster, prior to the draft. If a team decides to use one of their tenders on a player, that team forfeits one or both of their first two round selections in the Phase I Draft.