Edgars Kulda
Image: WHL

Edgars Kulda

Hometown:

Riga Latvia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1994-11-13

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

7th round (193rd overall), 2014

Weight:

185 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Edgars Kulda played for the SK Riga U18 team in his native Latvia. In 17 games he scored 36 goals with 27 assists and 18 penalty minutes.

2010-11: Kulda skated for the Rus 1994’s in the Moscow junior league in Russia. In 57 games he scored 24 goals with 28 assists and 32 penalty minutes. He played two games for Latvia’s U17 team and had no points with 2 penalty minutes.

2011-12: Kulda returned to Latvia to play for the HK Riga junior team and played for Latvia’s U18 team in the 2012 World Junior Championship. He had no points nor penalties with HK Riga’s top junior team in the MHL. In 40 games, including seven playoff games, for the club’s second team in MHL B he scored 17 goals with 20 assists and was +9 with 85 penalty minutes. Kulda also played for HK Riga in the Latvian junior league and in 25 games he scored 21 goals with 15 assists and 18 penalty minutes. In six games at the 2012 WJC he scored 3 goals with 1 assist and had an even plus/minus  as Latvia finished ninth in the 10-team tournament. Kulda was selected by Edmonton (WHL) in the first round (38th overall) of the 2012 CHL Import Draft.

2012-13: Kulda moved to North America to skate for Edmonton in the Western Hockey League and played for Latvia in the 2013 World Junior Championship. In 64 regular season games he scored 6 goals with 11 assists and was +4 with 34 penalty minutes. The Oil Kings finished first in the East Division and won the Eastern Conference championship in the playoffs before falling to Portland in the WHL Finals. Kulda scored 2 goals with 12 assists and was +9 with 10 penalty minutes in 22 playoff games. In six games for Latvia’s U20 team he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was minus-9 with 14 penalty minutes as the squad finished last in the 10-team tournament. Kulda was not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings in his first year of eligibility and was not selected in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Kulda had a breakout season in his second year with the Oil Kings as Edmonton captured the Memorial Cup championship and he played for Latvia’s U20 team at the 2014 Division 1 Group A World Junior Championship. Skating in 66 of 72 regular season games he scored 30 goals with 30 assists and was +34 with 57 penalty minutes. Edmonton finished with 103 points (tied for third most in the WHL). Kulda scored 10 goals with 12 assists in 21 WHL playoff games and was +14 with 12 penalty minutes. The Oil Kings avenged their loss to Portland in the 2013 finals, winning an epic seven game series against the Winterhawks in the WHL finals. Edmonton lost two of three games in round robin play at the Memorial Cup but defeated Val-d’Or in the semifinals and Guelph in the championship game. Kulda scored 4 goals with 3 assists and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes in five Memorial Cup games. In five games for second-place Latvia at the D1A WJC in Poland he scored 1 goal with 6 assists and had an even plus/minus with 2 penalty minutes. Kulda was ranked 145th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings.

 

Talent Analysis

Kulda is a pesky, forechecking forward with offensive flair. Takes full advantage of scoring opportunities. Seems to play his best hockey in important games.

Future

After going unsigned by the Coyotes following the draft, Kulda reported to training camp for Dynamo Riga. Playing in the KHL will aid Kulda’s development, pushing him out of his comfort zone. Of course, the experience comes with the risk that he may never return to North America.

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