Michael Bunting
Image: OHL

Michael Bunting

Hometown:

Toronto Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1995-09-17

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

4th round (117th overall), 2014

Weight:

180 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Michael Bunting skated for the Scarborough Young Bruins midget AA team in Scarborough, ON.

2011-12: Bunting skated for the Young Bruins and was the high school athlete of the year at Toronto’s Blessed Cardinal Newman — where he played hockey, badminton and volleyball.

2012-13: Bunting played his first season of AAA hockey — skating for the Don Mills Flyers midget team in the Greater Toronto Hockey League. He scored 28 goals with 12 assists in 28 regular season games and drew the attention of OHL scouts at the OHA Cup — scoring 6 goals with 8 assists in seven games. Bunting was selected by Sault Ste. Marie in the ninth round (160th overall) of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.

2013-14: Bunting made his OHL debut with Sault Ste. Marie as an 18-year old and had an immediate impact skating on the Greyhounds’ top line with Jared McCann and Andrew Fritsch. In 48  games he scored 15 goals with 27 assists and was +10 with 34 penalty minutes, missing nearly two months after suffering a knee injury in January. The Greyhounds finished first in the West Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Bunting scored 5 goals with 1 assist and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He was ranked 49th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Arizona in the fourth round (117th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Bunting attended his first prospect camp with the Coyotes before returning to Sault Ste. Marie for his second OHL season. The third-leading scorer for the Greyhounds despite missing 11 games, Bunting led Sault Ste. Marie with 37 goals and had 37 assists, finishing +44 with 39 penalty minutes. The Greyhounds had the league’s best record during the season, falling to the Erie Otters in the Western Conference finals. Bunting scored 9 goals with 5 assists and was +4 with 10 penalty minutes in 14 playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Arizona in July 2015.

Talent Analysis

Bunting was a late-bloomer, playing multiple sports well into his teenage years before choosing to focus on hockey. On the ice he is a relentless pest who commits himself to outworking the opposition every shift. Most of the scoring opportunities he generates are the result of this work ethic and persistence.

Future

Bunting signed an entry-level contract with the Coyotes in July and will attend training camp looking to start his pro career. He will likely start that career with either new AHL affiliate Springfield or in the ECHL but is also eligible to return to the OHL for an overage senior with Sault Ste. Marie in 2015-16. Long-term, his combination of size, work ethic, and determination suggests that Bunting can be a prototypical power forward at the NHL level.

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Accidental hockey career starting to pan out for Greyhounds’ Bunting

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Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward and 2014 prospect Michael Bunting returned to action this past weekend after missing time due to injury. Bunting notched three points in the two games he played in the 2013-14 season’s final weekend (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound forward Michael Bunting could be forgiven for thinking, “Why me?” back on Jan. 16th when he suffered an injury that has kept him out of the lineup for two months during his draft year. After all, he was bypassed in his first go-round with the OHL Priority Selection, and the self-professed late bloomer was just starting to open some eyes.

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