Cunningham signs with Cup champs

Trail’s Craig Cunningham signed a two-way contract with the Boston Bruins Thursday as he gets set to make his mark on the NHL stage.

Trail’s Craig Cunningham signed a two-way contract with the Boston Bruins Thursday as he gets set to make his mark on the NHL stage.

Cunningham was drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round (97th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and recently participated in Boston’s   development camp.

“We’re really excited – it’s been a long haul,” said Craig’s mother, Heather Cunningham.  “He had a great camp. He went last year when he was drafted, but I don’t think he was totally prepared.”

Cunningham was also offered a contract at the end of last year’s camp but decided to return to the WHL for a final season.

He split the 2010-2011 campaign between the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and the Vancouver Giants, and posted 27-60-87 totals in 71 games. Cunningham also played in 21 playoff games for the Winterhawks with a 7-14-21 line.

“This year he went (to camp) bigger, stronger, he was totally more prepared. He new what was expected and he had a great camp,” she added.

Cunningham, a 5-foot-9, 191-pound forward with a strong work ethic, will be attending the Bruins main camp in September. While he may have a tough task cracking the Stanley Cup winning Bruins’ lineup this year, he certainly impressed the B’s coaches and management.

“It’s only been two years for him, but he’s improved his strength, he’s improved in all his testing,” said General Manager Peter Chiarelli on the Bruins website. “He went back and he played as an overage in the Western League, and he did well with a real good team in Portland.”

Cunningham spent the four previous seasons with the Vancouver Giants and garnered career highs in goals (37) and points (97) during the 2009-10 campaign.