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10-06-2009, 03:19 PM
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I guess a little bit it's also because of his pedigree, as the son of Germany's "Player of the Century". If his name was Klaus Schmidt, I don't think he'd be getting the coverage he does. But that's not because he's overhyped but because the German media doesn't generally care about hockey at all.

Tom Kühnhackl was named Rookie of the Year in the 2. Bundesliga last season as a 17 year old. As of today he is leading Landshut in scoring (followed by 16-year old Tobias Rieder - Landshut is a junior powerhouse). The kid is the real deal.

For comparison, our best recent forward prospects at age 17:

Kühnhackl: 11-10-21 in 42 games in the 2. Bundesliga (turned 17 in February of that season)
Flaake: 32-32-64 in 36 games in U18 juniors (turned 17 in March of that season)
Gogulla: 1-1-2 in 47 DEL games plus 4-5-9 in 7 U18 games (turned 17 in July before that season)
Schütz: 1-2-3 in 24 games for Landshut in 2. Bundesliga plus 6-8-14 in 9 U18 games (turned 17 in November of that season)

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