Hunter completed his fourth year as a member of the WHL Prince George Cougars in 2005-06. He was the Cougars first round pick in the 2001 Bantam Draft and then went on to become Prince George’s Rookie of the Year during the 2002-03 season. The Cougars’ alternate captain had a breakout year in 2005-06 and was named the team’s MVP. Last season, Hunter’s overage year, he was named team captain, and although his point production during the regular season was down, Hunter became the Prince George Cougars career leader in points.
Originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the eighth round (229 overall) of the 2004 entry draft, Hunter was released the following spring. Eligible for the 2005 entry draft, he was not selected, but after a substantial increase in offensive production in 2005-06, the left winger/center generated a lot of interest and was drafted by the Rangers in the 6th Round (174 overall) of the 2006 entry draft.
After participating in the Hartford Wolf Pack’s training camp in September, Hunter decided not to sign a professional contract. Instead, he chose to use his CHL scholarship to attend and play hockey for the University of Alberta (CIS). Currently, he leads the team in scoring and among the top 20 scorers in the CIS.
Hunter had a breakout season in 2005-06, increasing his offensive production and achieving a positive plus/minus for the first time in his major junior career. Although he lacks discipline at times, Hunter has the ability to put points on the board and uses his body well to protect the puck.
After five years in the Western Hockey League, Hunter chose to play for the University of Alberta in the CIS this season. It is not likely that he will be signed to an entry-level contract before the Rangers rights to him expire.