Starting his Junior ‘A’ career with the Langley Hornets of the BCHL, Mike Santorelli became an instant scoring hit scoring 24 goals and 52 points in 60 games during the 2002-03 season, an impressive feat as a rookie. In the offseason, he was traded to the Vernon Vipers in a cash deal, and for the 2003-04 season, Santorelli led the Vipers in goals with 43 and points with 96 through 60 games, earning himself the Most Valuable Player award by team management. He was also selected to play in the 2004 BCHL All-Star game, and received a scholarship from the University of Northern Michigan, before being drafted by the Nashville Predators.
2006-07: A season to remember for Mike Santorelli. After posting 33 points in sophomore year, the Burnaby, BC native exploded for 47 points (30 goals, 17 assists) in 41 games and became one of the nation’s top snipers. Santorelli’s 30 goals led the CCHA and ranked third in the nation, while his 0.73 goals per game ranked second. He was the only player in the nation this season to rank in the top five in both special teams goal-scoring categories along with game-winners. His 11 power play tallies ranked tied for fifth. His four shorthanded goals ranked tied for third, and his six game-winners ranked tied for third. Santorelli alone accounted for over 30 percent of all of Northern Michigan’s goals this season. His sensational junior campaign earned Santorelli numerous honors including a selection to the All-CCHA First Team, NMU’s Gary Emmons Award as team MVP and a selection to the RBK All-American West Second Team.
2007-08: This would have been Santorelli’s senior season at Northern Michigan Univeristy (CCHA), but the center opted out, deciding instead to make the jump to the AHL. With Milwaukee, he put up excellent numbers for a rookie, tallying 21 goals and 21 assists in 80 games.
Santorelli has great hands and scoring ability. He has outstanding speed and acceleration, and coupled with his quickness makes him a very difficult player to contain. Santorelli has the ability to make things happen every time he’s on the ice. He has developed a knack for scoring timely goals as well. Santorelli has great on-ice vision and awareness and knows where the play is going. One area where his game has really matured has been in his ability to stay with the play regardless of which zone it is in. Santorelli has little trouble getting pucks to the net and shoots with great frequency. While he isn’t an overly physical player, Santorelli won’t shy away from playing the body when necessary.
He has the skill to be considered as a potential second or third line winger in the NHL.