2008-09: The Toronto-born Anthony Camara was a key player for the Mississauga Senators of the GTHL (Midget AAA). In 50 games, Camara scored 31 goals with 25 assists. In five games in the OHL Showcase Tournament, Camara scored 1 goal with 2 assists and accumulated 10 PMs. Camara was selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the 1st round (14th overall) of the 2009 OHL Priority draft.
2009-10: Camara opened eyes with his physical play as an OHL rookie with Saginaw. While his offensive numbers were mediocre (6 goals and 6 assists in 65 games), his speed and checking ability earned him regular playing time and his toughness made him a popular teammate. Camara finished with 96 PMs and was -9 during the regular season. After finishing fourth in the Western Division, Saginaw fell four games to two in the first round of the playoffs as Camara scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +1 with 5 PMs.
2010-11: With Saginaw featuring five players with 60 or more points, Camara was called on to play more of a checking, defensive role. In his second season with the Spirit, he scored 8 goals with 9 assists and was -9 in 64 games. Camara topped Saginaw with 132 PMs. In 12 playoff games, he had 1 goal and 1 assist and was -4 with 25 PMs. Cited as one of the league's hardest body checkers in an informal OHL coaches' poll, Camara's physical play seemed a natural match for Boston. The Bruins selected him in the 3rd round (81st overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
2011-12: Camara returned to Saginaw for his third OHL season after attending camp with the Bruins. In January 2012 he was part of a multi-player trade between the Spirit and the Barrie Colts. He scored 6 goals with a career-high 12 assists in 35 games and was minus-seven with 76 penalty minutes with Saginaw prior to the trade. In 31 games for Barrie he scored 9 goals with 5 assists and was minus-one with 59 penalty minutes. He continued to provide toughness and in-your-face play during the playoffs while chipping in offensively. He had 22 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games for the Colts and was minus-three; scoring 2 goals with 3 assists. Barrie reached the second round after finishing second in the Central Division.
At first glance, Camara's no-nonsense, keep-it-simple physical style of play draws obvious comparisons to Bruins' veteran forward Shawn Thornton. While Camara embraces that side of the game, there are indicators that he may be a more gifted offensive forward than he has shown thus far in juniors. While not a pure, instinctive goal scorer, he has legitimate skating and stickhandling skills which suggest he could contribute more on the offensive end of the ice. Camara sees the ice well and is an accurate passer. The fact that he was drafted in the third round would indicate that the Bruins braintrust see him as more of a power forward than just a pure energy player. As one of the tougher players in the OHL, he has shown a willingness to drop the gloves if necessary.
After making a positive first impression during Bruins' prospect camp, Camara will attend Bruins camp before returning to Saginaw his third OHL season. Already one of the more imposing physical players in the league, Camara's offensive numbers in midget hockey suggest he may develop into one of the more well-rounded players in junior hockey. At the minimum, he projects to being a character, energy lower line forward at the NHL level with the potential to develop into an offensive threat. It’s tempting to think about Milan Lucic when projecting what Camara could be, but Lucic experienced exponential growth as a player after his draft. Until something like that happens for Camara, the more appropriate comparable would be Chris Neil.