Toronto Maple Leafs: Realistic Expectations For The New Guys

Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Michael Bunting, Arizona Coyotes (Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /

Michael Bunting

Over Kyle Dubas’ tenure, much has been made about his seeming affinity for Sault St. Marie Greyhound players.

From Rasmus Sandin to Mac Hollowell, even down to Jack Campbell, the Greyhounds seem to have their fingerprints  (pawprints?) all over this organization. It’s no surprise that one of the Toronto Maple Leafs newest acquisitions would be Michael Bunting. The 26-year-old of course spent 2 seasons with the “SOO” from 2013-2015.

Over the course of training camp and pre-season, it seems clear that Bunting will fill a role similar to recently departed, Zach Hyman. He’ll be tasked with being a puck retrieval type player who can be a net-front presence looking to cash in on rebounds, and deflections to be his offensive contributions to the team.

It’s hard to give an educated guess for Bunting’s possible production as his most recent NHL stint last season saw him score 10 goals and 13 points in only 21 games. This is likely a result of luck and an inflated shooting percentage as he shot 26%.

You also have to factor in that Bunting likely plays in the middle 6 for a significant chunk of the season. There are a lot of moving parts as well, considering the long-term injury to Ilya Mikheyev and the short-term injury to Auston Matthews. For now, I think it’s safe to predict that he could produce similarly to Ilya Mikheyev, somewhere between 35-40 points.

Prediction: 37 Points