STORRS, Conn. - UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh has announced that Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) will join the men's hockey program and will skate with the Huskies for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
Letunov will join fellow incoming freshmen Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec), Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury, Mass.), Max Kalter (Highland Park, Ill.), Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.), Marco Richter (Vienna, Austria) and Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) and sophomore Tanner Creel (Arlington Heights, Ill.) in rounding out this year's recruiting class.
A 6-2, 165 pound forward originally from Moscow, Russia, Letunov comes to UConn after spending the last two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Letunov was a second round draft pick (52nd overall) by the St. Louis Blues in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and this past March, his rights were traded by the Blues to the Arizona Coyotes for established NHL defenseman Zbynek Michalek and a conditional third round pick in the 2015 draft.
While playing for the Phantoms, Letunov played in 118 games over two season piling up 107 points. In 2013-14, he appeared in 60 games finishing third on the team in scoring with 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points. He scored 17 points on the power play including eight goals.
In 2014-15, Letunov helped lead Youngstown from a last place Eastern Division finish in 2013-14 to a league best 40-14-6 record, winning the team’s first-ever Anderson Cup, presented to the USHL regular season champion. He was named to the All-USHL Second Team after a season where he posted 64 points on 24 goals and 39 assists.
He scored points in 42 of the 58 games he played and finished the year with six game-winners and a +7 rating. Letunov also made his presence felt on the power play, scoring 26 points including 11 power play goals to rank fifth in the league.
Letunov relocated from Russia to the Dallas, Texas area and played for the Dallas Stars U16 team in 2012-13. He was the leading scorer with 29 goals and 37 assists in helping lead his team to the USA Nationals in Pittsburgh.
He was one of four current Huskies who spent this summer at an NHL Development Camp, working with the Coyotes during their camp in July. (David Drake/Philadelphia, Miles Gendron/Ottawa, Joseph Masonius/Pittsburgh, Ryan Segalla/Pittsburgh).