Credit to Dave Reginek/Getty Images North America

Fantasy Summary

A diminutive winger with a high offensive potential.


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November 2021 – After four years of prodigious scoring at Bowling Green University (38 goals and 104 assists in 151 games), and leading US college hockey in 2020-21 with a plus-29 rating while ranking fifth in assists and sixth in scoring, Kruse began graduate school at Boston College this season and is still producing at a nearly point-per-game rate (2G, 11A in 14 contests). Skating on a line with BC senior and top Wild prospect Jack McBain has seemed to help Kruse acclimate quickly to the Eagles, as the two have developed a noticeable chemistry on the ice. While doubts remain regarding his NHL potential considering his small physical stature, his creative passing skills and ability to earn assists are unmistakably strong. Kevin Wickersham 

May 2019 – Kruse finished his sophomore year with a very impressive 41 points in 41 games for Bowling Green in the WCHA, which placed him third overall in conference scoring. The diminutive forward is a very creative playmaker and should increase his totals in his junior year as the Falcons will give him an increased role. Vegas will need to decide whether to use one of their 50 contracts on Kruse at the culmination of next season or risk letting him play during his senior year where he could decide to test free agency the following summer. Mason Black

January 2019 – Certainly not a household name, Kruse keeps cruising along (sorry, I had to) at a notable rate in his sophomore season with Bowling Green. He leads the WCHA conference in scoring with 28 points in 25 games, and currently sits tied in seventh in the entire NCAA.  The diminutive winger’s strong play has earned him a nomination for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award – the NCAA’s top individual merit given to the most outstanding player. It’s doubtful that he’ll be able to take home the hardware, but the nomination alone should earn him more respect in fantasy circles. Interestingly, only two Bowling Green players have ever won the Hobey Baker: Brian Holzinger (1995) and the Golden Knights general manager, George McPhee (1982). Kruse is the type of player you hope to hit a home-run with when using a fifth round pick, and although he is a long way away from being ready for the NHL, his progression as a prospect is far exceeding his draft status. Mason Black

October 2018 – Kruse has been on fire to start the 2018-19 season with Bowling Green.  His recent success suggests that last year’s rookie breakout season was not an aberration.  As he’s been given more responsibility he has demonstrated that he can lead a team despite being only a sophomore.  Although the season has only just begun, Kruse rattled off eight points in his first four games.  The biggest concern for Kruse right now is that he’s still listed as a 155-pound winger, which is extremely light compared to NHL standards.  He lacks the explosive skill level that is needed if he’s to eventually land on an NHL roster at that size.  Fortunately, Vegas is preaching patience and hopes that he can add some bulk over the next few years. Mason Black

September 2018 – In an unexpected move the Golden Knights went off the board to select Kruse in the 5th round. Originally passed over in his initial draft year, most prognosticators did not have the 5’9” winger on their draft lists, and weighing in at 154 pounds the 19 year old was probably as surprised as any to have been selected. That is certainly not to take anything away from his rookie season playing with Bowling Green State University where he posted 33 points in 41 games, and earned WCHA All-Rookie Team honours. A few key players in the Falcons lineup have graduated, so one should expect that he’ll see an increased role in the organization. There is not question that he’s going to add some muscle to his tiny frame if he ever wants a shot at the NHL level, but he has shown an increased progression in skill level that is promising. Mason Black

Fantasy Upside 6.0
NHL Certainty 6.5
Country USA
Position LW
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth March 26, 1999
Height 5‘9”
Weight 154 lbs
Drafted 2018 Round 5; Overall: 135


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2011-2012 Detroit Little CaesarsQC Int PW4 1 34 4|        
 2012-2013 Belle Tire 13U AAAT1EHL 13U29 23 3760 2|        
 2013-2014 Belle Tire 14U AAAT1EHL 14U27 9 1726 12|        
 2014-2015 Belle Tire 16U AAAT1EHL 16U32 9 1019 16|Playoffs4 0 11
 2015-2016 Team Grey USA-S165 2 24 2|        
  Belle Tire 16U AAAT1EHL 16U32 9 2029 16|Playoffs4 5 38
 2016-2017 Team White USA-S175 0 00 -|        
  St. Cloud NorsemenNAHL59 16 3046 70|Playoffs5 2 57
 2017-2018 Bowling Green State Univ.NCAA41 8 2533 38|        
 2018-2019 Bowling Green State Univ.NCAA41 10 3141 30|        
 2019-2020 Bowling Green State Univ.NCAA38 9 2534 24|        
 2020-2021 Bowling Green State Univ.NCAA31 11 2334 26|        
 2021-2022 Boston CollegeNCAA38 3 2326 18|        
  Henderson Silver KnightsAHL3 0 11 2|        
 2022-2023 Newfoundland GrowlersECHL69 7 3744 28|Playoffs12 1 56 24 
 2023-2024 Toledo WalleyeECHL70 18 3654 50|