Kunitz and the Ducks won the prestigious Lord Stanley's Cup by skating to a 6-2 home victory over the Ottawa Senators Wednesday (June 6) evening to win the best-of-seven game series by a 4-1 count. The championship is the first for Anaheim in its 14-year history and represents the first time in which the Stanley Cup will reside in California. Anaheim made its NHL debut in 1993 as an expansion team and were officially named the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim until the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
Kunitz, who played at Ferris State from 1999-03 and helped lead the Bulldogs to the program's first-ever Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular-Season Championship title, recorded six points on a goal and five assists in 12 playoff game appearances this season. The 5-11, 198-pound left winger earned the honor of being on the Ducks' starting forward line for Wednesday's contest but didn't register a point.
The 2003 Hobey Baker Memorial Award Hat Trick finalist played just over four minutes last Saturday (June 2) in game three of the series at Ottawa, Ontario, as a result of injuring his leg after returning to the lineup following a seven-game absence with a broken hand. In 81 2006-07 regular-season outings, Kunitz scored 25 goals with 35 assists for 60 points which all represented personal single-season highs. He compiled a plus 23 efficiency rating to go with 11 power-play markers and five game-winning lamplighters. The NHL forward also produced 10 multiple-point games this season, including a pair of four-point game outings.
In 171 career NHL appearances, Kunitz has generated 107 points on 44 goals and 63 assists. He also has posted a plus 40 efficiency rating to go with 16 power-play goals, one short-handed tally, and seven game-winning markers in his NHL career. Kunitz presently ranks third on Anaheim's all-time franchise record leaders in plus/minus and garnered his 100th career NHL point on March 11 versus the Vancouver Canucks.
Kunitz made his NHL debut in 2003-04 with the Ducks and totaled six points (all assists) in 21 games. Following a two-year (2003-05) stint with Cincinnati in the American Hockey League (AHL), Kunitz was claimed on waivers by Atlanta on Oct. 4, 2005, and didn't post a point in two contests with the Thrashers. He then was reclaimed by Anaheim on Oct. 18, 2005, and produced 41 points with 19 goals and 22 helpers in 67 appearances for the 2005-06 season. Kunitz inked a free-agent contract with Anaheim on April 1, 2003, upon conclusion of his collegiate career.
As a collegian, Kunitz made the most of his 2002-03 senior season by achieving American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-America First-Team kudos and was among three 2003 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists, which is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate men's ice hockey player.
A two-time (2001-02 and 2002-03) CCHA First-Team pick, Kunitz became the first skater from Ferris State to earn CCHA Player of the Year honors after leading the league in points, goals, assists, and plus/minus for the 2002-03 campaign.
Kunitz ended his stellar career ranking tied for sixth in career points (175), second in goals (99) and 18th in assists (76) in 152 contests. He played an integral role in leading the 2002-03 Bulldogs to a school-best 31-10-1 overall record, a first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title and the program's first-ever NCAA Division I Championship Tournament appearance.
Kunitz was tabbed as the consensus male student-athlete winner of the 2002-03 Bulldog of the Year, which is presented annually to the most outstanding Ferris State student-athlete .