Michael Bunting THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 9/17/1995
Place of birth: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 179 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 80
THW War Room Rankings (April): 78
Future Considerations: not ranked
Craig Button: 41
Michael Bunting may be the best relative unknown player in the draft. He wasn’t supposed to be playing in the OHL at all having not been selected in two OHL drafts, but he fought his way into the lineup with the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds. Bunting then suffered a heavy blow to his MCL which sidelined him for 20 games this year. In a draft year, that’s crucial, but Bunting came back with a new attitude and new vigor to his game.
He’s molded himself into a fantastic all-around winger. He didn’t pick up a gene for height, however he uses his body well against defenders and has great puck possession. Bunting doesn’t have the most impressive puck skills either. His game is very straightforward and safe, which is why he was a consistent point scorer in his 48 games. He also doesn’t have swift feet, but manages to have solid balance.
What impressed me most from Bunting is his work ethic and will to play the defensive part of the game. He’s a workhorse of a forecheck and backchecker. He lays his body on the line to make a play and has adept defensive instincts. Overall, he’s a player that doesn’t get enough credit for the job he does, but he certainly has the
Where Will He End Up In June:
He really picked up the scoring pace at the end of the season and in the playoffs. I legitimately think he turn enough heads to be a 2nd round pick this year.
“Bunting is one of the most underrated players in this OHL draft crop. He’s a late ’95, but this year was only his first in the OHL after playing midget last year. Ultimately he proved to be quite the find for the Hounds as he was one of their most consistent contributors (when he was healthy). He’s a 200 foot player who plays with a high intensity level at both ends. He’s not huge, but he plays much larger than his size, showing little fear in attacking the net or playing in the corners. He’s a good skater who excels in transition and has good hands in close. As he gains strength and confidence, he could easily develop into a high energy 2nd or 3rd line scorer at the next level and should be someone NHL teams consider heavily in the 2nd round.“
Brock Otten – OHL Prospects
“A late bloomer who entered the OHL as an 18 year old rookie. Very good vision, speed, hands, and quick shot. Finds the open soft areas, and makes space by getting open. An under the radar prospect who shows good upside. He needs bulk, strength and time.“
Bill Placzek – Draftsite.com
Risk: 2/5 Reward: 3/5
2nd or 3rd line two-way winger
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 5.5/10 Defensive: 6/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Antoine Vermette
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
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