Toronto Maple Leafs: What to Expect From Michael Bunting and David Kampf

Toronto Maple Leafs latest signing Michael Bunting #58 of the Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs latest signing Michael Bunting #58 of the Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs latest signing Michael Bunting #58 of the Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t exactly shock the world when they announced the signing of UFAs Michael Bunting and David Kampf when free agency opened on Wednesday. They are a pair of decent additions and you’ll learn why.

You’re about to get a crash course on the two newest members of the team and find out what to expect from them.

Michael Bunting

Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas inked Bunting to a two-year $1.9 million contract, which carries an AAV of $950,000. Maple Leafs fans can be forgiven if they aren’t familiar with Bunting. He was playing for the Arizona Coyotes, which already limits his exposure. Plus, Bunting has only played in a total of 26 career NHL games. This past season, he played in 21 contests where he had 10 goals and 3 assists along with 12 penalty minutes. (stats

Bunting worked his way up to the NHL since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, 117th overall. Since then, the left-winger has played mostly in the AHL looking like he’d be on a trajectory to remain a career minor leaguer. As you’ll learn, Bunting is not the sort of player anyone should count-out.

The Toronto-born 25-year-old was only playing AA and high school hockey at age 16. Only when he turned 17 did Bunting begin to play AAA. I will admit that at the time, I was in attendance at a number of his games but only recall being impressed by his teammate, Mitch Marner. Bunting’s journey wasn’t a common one, with most players moving on to Major Junior doing so after many years at the AAA level.

In the ninth round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, Sault Ste. Marie drafted Bunting. The general manager behind that pick was Dubas. When Bunting got to the Soo, his head coach was Sheldon Keefe. He got to play for Keefe for two seasons before becoming a pro. In that time, he blossomed to become a reliable producer. In his second and final season in the OHL, Bunting played 57 games where he recorded 37 goals and 37 assists for a total of 74 points.

Bunting is expected to be a bottom-end winger for the Leafs but has shown that he has the potential to yet again exceed expectations. Dubas and Keefe know that with Bunting there is the possibility of having a secondary scorer. He has good speed and a quick release on his shot.

Bunting will very likely start on either Toronto’s third or fourth lines but could very well find himself moving up to the second line. With strong puck possession, there’s a good chance he will earn himself more ice time as the season progresses. It is something to watch for.

David Kampf

Once again Leafs fans aren’t getting the star they were hoping for with the signing of Kampf. Who they will be watching instead is a player that Keefe is likely to utilize for his faceoff prowess.

Kampf signed a two-year $3 million with a $1.5 million AAV to join the Maple Leafs. He is coming off his fourth NHL season where he recorded 12 points in 56 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. His 12 points came off one goal and 11 assists. In his best season, Kampf played in 63 games and registered 4 goals and 15 assists for a total of 19 points.

The Leafs didn’t sign Kampf for his scoring. They wanted him for his defense and very strong faceoff skills. The Leafs can utilize the center and right-winger in a similar way that the Blackhawks did.

Kampf was often seen hopping the boards when there was a faceoff to be taken in Chicago’s end. Expect the same in Toronto. Since Kampf isn’t likely to discover an ability to be productive offensively, he will be utilized to win important draws and gain possession on the Leafs side of the ice before being pulled for a scorer.

At 26 years old, Kampf will probably play on Toronto’s third or fourth line. He should also become a permanent part of the Leafs penalty kill.

Next. The Exhaustive List of NHL UFAs. dark

While most know about the Toronto Maple Leafs other big acquisition from the first day of free agency, Petr Mrazek, it’s good to get to know these two young forwards as well. Once fans get the chance to see this pair in action, they will know that while they aren’t flashy, the Leafs made a good move by bringing them into the fold.