EDITOR'S NOTE: The Coyotes added nine prospects to the mix at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia. Follow along as ArizonaCoyotes.com profiles all nine draft picks. Today's featured player is forward Michael Bunting.
Height/Weight: 5-11, 174
Position: Leftt Wing
Hometown: Scarborough, ON, Canada
Round: 4 (117th overall)
2013-14 team: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Twitter handle: @Bunting27
Passed over twice in the OHL draft, Bunting led the Don Mills Flyers to the 2013 OHA Championship with 27 goals in 28 games before drafted in the ninth round by Sault Ste. Marie last year. He suffered an MCL strain in January of his rookie OHL season but still made an impression on NHL scouts with his commitment, intensity, attention to detail and scoring touch.
• Bunting scored his first career OHL hat trick in the Greyhounds’ 8-3 win over the Sarnia Sting on Oct. 23, 2013 and finished with 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in 48 games in his rookie season with Sault Ste. Marie. He missed 20 of the team’s regular-season contests due to a knee injury, but returned to lead the Greyhounds with five goals in nine playoff games.
• Bunting played only one season of AAA hockey before making the jump to the OHL. He scored 39 points (27 goals, 12 assists) in 28 games with the Don Mills Flyers Midget AAA squad in 2012-13.
"I like to fashion my game after a guy like (Boston Bruins forward) Brad Marchand. I'm kind of a feisty kind of guy that's not afraid to get into the corners and do the dirty work but be able to contribute offensively. That's what I love to do - I love to kind of get under other players' skins but I also love putting up big points for the team." -- Michael Bunting
"The work starts now,” Bunting said. “I’m going to enjoy this day but when the next day comes I’ve got to know that this is a lot of work and it all starts now. I’m not going to give up." -- Michael Bunting
"He's a real late bloomer from the Ontario Hockey League... When he came onto the scene this year it was a real pleasant surprise. Right away we started watching this kid and everybody was remarking on his smarts, his instincts, his battle level. He still needs to get bigger and stronger but coming where he's coming from he never really worked out before. He's a very committed kid and a great athlete." – Coyotes Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt
The Fun Facts:
• Bunting was named the Blessed Cardinal Newman High School (Toronto) athlete of the year multiple times, excelling in ice hockey, badminton and volleyball. "I was all over the map with sports," Bunting said. "I also played ball hockey in the summer. That helped a lot."
• Bunting is good friends with Coyotes prospect Tyler Gaudet, one of his teammates with Sault Ste. Marie. "He lived around the corner from me and drove me everywhere," Bunting said.