No I am not taking about General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler or Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George, or the Celtics and the Heat. I am talking about Luke Kunin, Riley Tufte and Max Zimmer. Three members of the 2016 NHL Draft who have all Type 1 Diabetes. The 2016 NHL draft that was held in Buffalo, NY on June 24th and is the first NHL draft to have 3 members of the T1D Hockey community selected by NHL teams. Some of the past players with Type 1 Diabetes that have been selected in the NHL draft include 2013 1st round pick Max Domi, 2003 2nd round pick BJ Crombeen, and 1969 2nd round pick Bobby Clarke. As you can tell from the names on the list Type 1 Diabetes is something that will not hold the 2016 NHL draft class back from having great carriers in the NHL. Education around Type 1 Diabetes is something that has greatly improved and more organizations are not afraid to take on a hockey player just because he might have this disease. Newer Type 1 Diabetes technology has made it easier for the athletes to manage T1D and stay in top form to maintain their high compete level. Trainers and medial staff have become close partners with T1D players to help them succeed on and off the ice. These players are also filling another large roll that they might not even realize. They are paving the way and setting the example that T1D will not hold you back. Hockey players with Type 1 Diabetes can chase their dreams all the way to the top levels of hockey.
Here are some quick hits about the gentlemen drafted last week.
Player: Luke Kunin
Drafted in the 2016 NHL Draft Round 1 #15 over all by the Minnesota Wild
Date of birth: December 4th, 1997
Team: Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Position: Left Wing/Center
Weight: 193 lbs.
Birthplace: Chesterfield, MO USA
Current Hockey Number: 9
Diagnosed with T1D in the 6th grade
The former US U-18 captain
2013-2014 U17 WHC Gold Medal
2014-2015 U18 WJC Gold Medal
2015-2016 NCAA (B1G) All-Rookie Team
Player: Riley Tufte
Drafted in the 2016 NHL Draft Round 1 #25 overall by the Dallas Stars
Date of birth: April 10th, 1998
Team: Fargo Force
Current Hockey Number: 26
Height: 6’ 5”
Weight: 205 lbs.
Birthplace: Coon Rapids, MN, USA
Diagnosed with T1D at age 11
2014-2015 U17 WHC Silver Medal
2015-2016 Mr. Hockey Minnesota
Player: MAX ZIMMER a.k.a. “Maxwell Zimmer
Drafted in the 2016 round 4 #104 overall by Carolina Hurricanes
Date of birth: October 29th, 1997
Team: CHICAGO STEEL
Current Hockey Number: 6
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthplace: Medina, MN, USA
Diagnosed with T1D at age 2
2015-2016 World Junior A Challenge All-Star Team
2015-2016 World Junior A Challenge Bronze Medal
2015-2016 World Junior A Challenge Most Goals (5)