|Kampfer (photo: Michigan Daily)
It's not everyday that you get traded to an Original Six NHL franchise, but that's exactly what happened to the University of Michigan's Steve Kampfer on Tuesday.
Earlier this afternoon, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club had acquired the rights to defenseman Steve Kampfer from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional fourth round draft pick.
"I found out this morning at about 11 a.m. my time (12 p.m. ET)," said Kampfer via cell phone to BostonBruins.com. "I was pretty excited about it, actually.
"I definitely didn’t think anything was going to happen, but when I found out about it I was really excited."
The 21-year old Kampfer has skated in 37 games for the University of Michigan this season, recording two goals, 15 assists and 48 PIM. Over four seasons with the Wolverines, Kampfer has played in 139 games, registering 6-51-57 totals and 132 PIM.
Kampfer said he had learned about the Bruins from former Michigan Wolverine and fellow defenseman Matt Hunwick.
"I talked to Matt a little bit about Boston and he says he loves it, the hockey is great, loves the organization," said Kampfer. "I have never heard a bad thing about it which is phenomenal when you get traded to it.
"I have been to Boston a couple of times, I love the city and to be a part of the Bruins organization is a dream come true."
The 5’11, 188-pound native of Ann Arbor, Michigan was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round (93rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and grew up a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, but said he patterns his game after the Blackhawks Duncan Keith.
"He is a quick player, likes to move the puck, jump up in the play," said Steve. "I just try to play [that way] throughout this year.
"Other than that I just try to make the first outlet pass, join the rush, but also be a rock defensively and just make sure that they are not getting scoring chances and I am playing my best game."
And right now, Kampfer would like to transfer that game into the collegiate playoffs.
"I think coming into this year I thought I was in the best shape of my four years here. I was ready to go, ready to get after it this year," he said. "We didn’t start off the way we wanted to, we struggled the first half of the season, but I think the second half we turned it around and right now we are in the playoffs this weekend.
"We are trying to make a run to get back in the NCAA [tournament] to keep our 19 year streak in the NCAA tournament alive. As for myself, I thought I started off this season strong, just continued to get better, work on the little things. Winning puck battles in the corner, making sure that I am open for my defense partner and that guys are getting the opportunities and when I get an opportunity offensively to make it happen.
"I just have to make sure that I continue doing that for the rest of our season," said the Michigan blueliner.
After his NCAA career is concluded, Kampfer will have a chance to switch from maize and blue into another set of tradition-laden colors.
"I was actually really excited," said Kampfer. "It gives you the opportunity to wear the 'Black & Gold' and be a part of an Original Six [franchise] and be a part of a great hockey community.
"Obviously you think of Bobby Orr scoring that goal. We have a picture of it in our locker room actually in our equipment manager’s office and everyday I go in there and see it, it gives you that feeling.
"And when you think of Boston, you think of Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, and all those great players."