2009-10: Maxim Letunov skated for CSKA Moscow’s 1996’s in his native Russia. He scored 12 goals with 13 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 26 games in Moscow league play and in five tournament games he scored 2 goals with 4 assists and 12 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Letunov played for CSKA Moscow’s 1996’s — scoring 9 goals with 10 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 24 games.
2011-12: Letunov moved from Russia to the Dallas, TX area and skated for the Alliance Hockey Association’s U15 and U16 teams.
2012-13: Letunov was the leading scorer for the Dallas Stars U16 team that advanced to the USA Nationals in Pittsburgh. He scored 29 goals with 37 assists and 6 penalty minutes in 40 regular season games and had 2 goals with 2 assists and 6 penalty minutes in four playoff games. Letunov scored 5 goals with 2 assists in four games at the USA Nationals. The Stars were 3-0 in pool play before losing, 2-1, to Wilkes-Barre Scranton in the tournament quarterfinals. Letunov was selected by Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the first round (26th overall) of the 2013 KHL Draft and chosen by Youngstown in the second round (19th overall) of the 2013 USHL Draft.
Letunov is an offensively-gifted forward whose defensive game could use some work. He is quite lanky for his height and is not yet a reliable two-way player. He needs to add a significant amount of muscle mass while developing the physical side of his game. With one more year of junior hockey and potentially a four-year college career he should have time to address those areas. Letunov mixes a slick, sneaky wrist shot with an effective passing game in a slight frame.
Letunov was acquired by the Coyotes at the trade deadline in the Zbynek Michalek deal in March 2015. He will head to the University of Connecticut for his freshman season in 2015-16 and may be thrust into a top-line role immediately. Long-term he will need to add strength and bulk to withstand the rigors of pro hockey but his skill set suggests he can be an effective playmaker at that level one day.