Daniel Gunnarsson
Image: Lulea HF

Daniel Gunnarsson


Koping Sweden

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Eligible for draft:









5th round (128th overall), 2012


207 lbs.

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2009-10: Daniel Gunnarsson played in one game in AllSvenskan (Sweden's second league) as a 17-year-old while skating for Leksands' U20 and U18 teams. He also played for Vastmanland in Sweden's TV-Pucken tournament for high school-aged players. Gunnarsson had no points or penalty minutes in his only men's game with Leksands. In 14 games for third-place Leksands U20, he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was plus-11 with six penalty minutes. In eleven games with Leksands U18, including three playoff games, he was plus-two and had 3 goals with 2 assists. In eight games for Vastmanland he had 1 goal with 5 assists and 8 penalty minutes.

2010-11: Gunnarsson played in 14 men's games – playing nine games in Allsvenskan with Leksands and five games on loan with Division 1 Falu IF – and was one of the top defensemen for Leksands U20 team. He was scoreless with no penalty minutes in five regular season games for Leksands, which finished fourth in AllSvenskan. Gunnarsson played in four of six games during the Kval playoffs and was plus-two with 2 penalty minutes. Playing for last-place Falu IF in the Division 1 C division, he had 3 assists and was an even plus/minus with 4 penalty minutes. In 38 games with Leksands U20 team he led all defensemen in points and penalty minutes; scoring 3 goals with 10 assists and finishing plus-12 with 51 penalty minutes.

2011-12: Gunnarson played for Lulea in the Elitserien as a 19-year-old rookie and gained some international experience representing Sweden at both the men's team and U20 levels. Averaging just under nine minutes of ice time in 46 regular season games with Lulea, he scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was plus-six with 8 penalty minutes. Lulea had the league's best record before being upset by AIK in the first round of the playoffs.  In the five-game playoff series Gunnarsson was minus-one with no points or penalty minutes. In six games with Lulea's U20 team he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was plus-five with 8 penalty minutes. In seven international games for Sweden, including four men's contests, he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was plus-two but he did not play in the world championship tournaments. In his second year of eligibility for the NHL Draft, Gunnarsson was not among the 140 European skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings but was selected by Minnesota in the fifth round (128th overall).

2012-13: Gunnarsson was a teammate of fellow Wild prospect goalie Johan Gustafsson with Lulea in Sweden's SHL. In 53 games he scored 6 goals with 11 assists and was +10 with 20 penalty minutes. Lulea, after finishing fourth in the regular season, advanced to the SHL Finals against regular season champion Skelleftea. Gunnarsson scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -7 with 2 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games.


Talent Analysis

A big, offensively oriented defenseman who has good mobility for his size. He is only average in terms of defensive zone coverages and could be more aggressive by NHL standards.



Played second-pairing minutes for a good Lulea team and put up some points. He is still under contract to the Swedish club through 2014.


Minnesota Wild’s prospect pool boasts top-end talent and character

by Peter Prohaska
Johan Larsson - Houston Aeros

Photo: Johan Larsson is one of the many top prospects spending the 2012-13 season with the AHL's Houston Aeros. (courtesy of Juan DeLeon/Icon SMI)

The Wild is still in the midst of a controlled rebuilding process. While the team has added immediate help at the NHL level for some areas of deficiency, most notably an elite top-pairing defenseman in Ryan Suter, an underrated top-four defenseman in Tom Gilbert, and an all-star scoring winger in Zach Parise, a few barren years at the draft kept the team from contention recently. Very strong drafts in 2010 and 2011, punctuated by the trade for Charlie Coyle, have put the team in excellent shape to be contenders soon. The core might be able to take advantage of the NHL lockout to grow together at the AHL level. Part of the Minnesota mentality is knowing there is a long winter ahead to test for weaknesses. With luck, this group of prospects will emerge strong and battle-tested.

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