2010-11: Ryan Kujawinski joined the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves for the Great North Midget League playoffs and was one of the top scorers for the Sudbury Wolves Minor Midget AA team in Northern Ontario. Kujawinski scored 1 goal with 1 assist in two regular season GNML games and then scored 4 goals with 6 assists in three playoff games. In 24 minor midget AA games he scored 35 goals with 21 assists and had 24 penalty minutes. Kujawinski played for Team Ontario in the 2011 Canada Winter Games and scored 1 goal with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes in six games. He was taken by Sarnia in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2011 OHL Priority Draft.
2011-12: Kujawinski began the season with Sarnia before being obtained by Kingston in January in one of three draft deadline trades Frontenacs’ GM Doug Gilmour made for young prospects for the struggling Frontenacs. Kujawinski had 1 goal with 5 assists and was minus-7 with 2 penalty minutes in 29 games in limited ice time with Sarnia. He scored at a point-per-game pace in a larger role with Kingston, finishing with 15 goals and 15 assists and was minus-6 with 15 penalty minutes in 30 games. The Frontenacs missed the playoffs, finishing with the OHL’s second worst record. Kujawinski represented Canada Ontario in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge and scored 1 goal with 2 assists in five games.
2012-13: Kujawinski was the second-leading scorer for Kingston behind Finnish forward Henri Ikonen and won a gold medal playing for Canada’s U18 team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He scored 17 goals with a team-leading 31 assists in 66 games for the Frontenacs and was minus-12 with 40 penalty minutes. Kingston, third in the East Division, made the playoffs despite finishing under .500. Kujawinski scored 2 goals and was minus-4 with 2 penalty minutes in the four game playoff series with Barrie. He scored 1 goal with 2 penalty minutes in five games at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Kujawinski was ranked 63rd amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Kujawinski attended his first NHL camp with New Jersey before returning to Kingston — battling through injuries in his third OHL season. He scored 23 goals with 18 assists in 45 regular season games and was plus-3 with 39 penalty minutes. Eight of his goals were scored on the power play. The Frontenacs finished second in the East Division; falling to Peterborough in overtime of the decisive Game 7 in their first round series. Kujawinski scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was minus-5 with 2 penalty minutes in seven playoff games.
Kujawinski is a big centre who showed in junior he can take over games. While he plays a physical style, he is a dynamic skater with a pretty good shot and someone who can win a key face-off. He is very difficult to stop when he is on his game, but sometimes struggles to string together good shifts. Yet in his final season of junior hockey, he was a consistent threat to score on most night. He needs to continue to work on his foot speed as he enters the pros.
Kujawinski did not stick out at Development Camp over the summer. He will compete at training camp in New Jersey but he is probably going to be wearing an Albany Devils uniform come October. The most important thing he needs to show his new coaching staff is that he can be a consistent contributor on most nights. That includes either creating scoring chances or applying the body.