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Fantasy Summary

A hard working winger who has been a consistent scorer in the AHL for a while now. When finally given an NHL chance in 2020-21 he came through big time. Now gets his chance with the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Observations

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July 2021- A Group 6 UFA, Bunting decided to test free agency. The Scarborough, Ontario native was quickly scooped up by the Toronto Maple Leafs, signing a two-year contract with a $950,00 AAV. Bunting played for both GM Kyle Dubas and coach Sheldon Keefe with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyounds of the OHL, so there is some familiarity here. A 23% shooting percentage at five-on-five last year will be nearly impossible to duplicate but this is still a worthwhile signing for the Leafs. He’ll bring an effective net front presence and shown to be a consistent scorer in the AHL. Bunting could very well be this years version of Carter Verhaeghe. Keith Duggan

May 2021- It’s safe to say 2020-21 was a break-out campaign for Bunting. He finished with 10 goals and 13 points in 21 games for Arizona, giving the team a much needed spark. He regularly could be found in front of the opponents net, screening the goalie and scoring dirty goals, something the Coyotes were lacking. Bunting spent most of those 21 games in a top six-role for Arizona.  After the season was over, Bunting was selected to suit up for Canada for the first time internationally at the 2021 Hockey World Championship. This offseason, Bunting will be a Group 6 UFA, as he hasn’t accrued the required amount of NHL games by age 25. Look for the Coyotes to sign the left winger quickly to a one-way deal with a pretty decent pay raise. Keith Duggan

April 2021- At 25 year-old, it was beginning to look like Bunting would be one of those players who excels in the AHL but never really makes it to the NHL. He was once again one of the top scores in the AHL with Tucson, when the Coyotes, who were struggling to score, recalled Bunting. In his first game he had a goal and assist, giving the team a much needed spark. Then in his fourth game this campaign, Bunting racked up a hat trick against the LA Kings. He’s averaging about 17:54 minutes of time on ice, which is third among Coyote forwards. Bunting is a much more mature player now, playing a strong 200-foot game and taking less bad penalties than he did when younger. He’s a solid add in fantasy leagues right now as Bunting, with six points in as many games, is hot. Keith Duggan

September 2020- Bunting finished last year 12th in AHL scoring to go along with second on Tucson with 12 goals and 49 points. The noted pest also placed second on the team in penalty minutes. Unfortunately, unlike 2019-20 when Bunting spent nearly two months with the Coyotes as an depth forward, he spent last year primarily with Tuscon. With Arizona expected to possibly shed salary though, this could be a excellent opportunity for Bunting to earn a bottom-six role with the big club. Keith Duggan

October 2019- Even though Bunting had a very strong training camp and preseason with the Coyotes, he still found himself clearing waivers and assigned to Tucson. There he is expected to be a top offensive weapon and a leader on a young AHL team. If injuries strike the Coyotes, expect Bunting to one of the first players recalled. Keith Duggan

July 2019- The Coyotes have announced that they have resigned Bunting to a two-year, two-way contract. While an outside chance he makes the Coyotes, Bunting most likely plays most of this coming campaign in the AHL. He’s currently Tucson’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. Keith Duggan

June 2019- Bunting saw himself up and down between Arizona and Tucson, never really claiming a roster spot with the Coyotes but one of the top players for his squad in the AHL. When an injury hit the Coyotes, Bunting was usually the first player recalled, only appearing in five games with the big club but showed well when inserted into the lineup. In Tuscon, he finished second on the team in goals and points despite playing far less games, with the squad looking like a far more confident team with Bunting on the roster. He also continued to play his agitating game, racking up 84 PIM, second on Tucson. Bunting won’t be a big scorer in the NHL, but could be someone who gets you hits and PIM in deep leagues. Keith Duggan

January 2019- It’s been an excellent first half to 2018-19 for Bunting. After a strong start to the season for Tucson, 18 points in 20 games, he was recalled to the Coyotes with the team hitting some injury issues. Bunting scored in his NHL debut and played well on a bottom-six role with Arizona before returning to Tucson. Since returning he’s been huge for Tucson, noticeable one of the team’s top players, racking up eight points in nine games. Bunting has continued to play a agitating game too, his 36 PIM’s third on the team, despite missing 11 games while with the Coyotes. Bunting will never be a huge scorer but he’s proving that he could be a valuable bottom-six winger with the Coyotes soon. Keith Duggan

October 2018- Bunting had an underwhelming camp with the Coyotes, cleared waivers and found himself in Tucson. After a breakthrough campaign last season, Bunting is expected to a have a big year in the AHL. He’s off to a strong start with one goal and three points in four games so far. Keith Duggan

June 2018- Bunting tied for the team lead in goals at 23 and was fourth on Tucson in points with 43 as he’s proving to possibly be a late bloomer. While those stats weren’t huge they were more impressive considering Bunting started on the fourth line before working his way up the lineup. He still played his pest game at the same time, leading Tucson in penalty minutes during the playoff’s with 27.  Bunting is coming off his entry-level contract so he would have to clear waivers to be sent to the AHL again. A small chance he makes the Coyotes for 2018-19, probably as a extra forward, but the better chance is Bunting is sent to Tucson again to keep developing. Keith Duggan

December 2017- After two so-so season’s in the AHL, Bunting’s game is starting to come around. Playing a very pesty game, he’s starting to show some offense in the AHL, putting up a point per game pace in December. Bunting started the season as a bottom six winger but has worked his way up in the lineup now playing on the first line with first-round picks Dylan Strome and Nick Merkley. He won’t be a first line winger in the NHL but he could see a recall to the Coyotes as a fourth line pest soon if his strong play in the AHL continues. Keith Duggan

July 2017- While Bunting nearly made the Coyotes out of training camp, he put together a so-so season in the AHL, putting up similar numbers as his rookie pro season. His 13 goals and 28 points were slightly better then the 11 goals and 25 points Bunting put up the year before. He did however continue to play a very strong pest game, getting under the skin of opponents nearly every game. Bunting models his game after Boston’s Brad Marchand and he seems to have the pest part down. Now he just needs to show more offense at the AHL level first before he could have a chance at a fourth line pest job for the Coyotes in the future. Keith Duggan

November 2016- Despite a very strong preseason with the Coyotes, scoring two goals and three points in two games, Michael Bunting has been sent to Tucson of the AHL. With a solid finish to the 2015-16 season and now this preseason, Bunting’s game looks to be coming along and should be a under the radar/sleeper prospect to keep an eye on. Keith Duggan

July 2016- After a slow start to his first pro season, Michael Bunting came on strong to end the 2015-16 year on a high note. By the end of January, he had six goals and eight points, finding himself a healthy scratch at times and even spending a stint in the ECHL. But in Bunting’s last 21 games of the season he put up five goals and 14 points to finish the season with a 11-14-25 line in 63 games with Springfield of the AHL. Along with Bunting getting more comfortable and his offense coming along his agitating game came back too, getting under the other team’s skin on most nights. He’ll be back in the AHL for 2016-17 but look for Bunting to have a much stronger season and get on the Coyotes radar as a injury replacement. Keith Duggan

November 2015- With an slow start to his pro career in the AHL, only appearing in one game for the Springfield Falcons, Michael Bunting has been reassigned to Rapid City of the ECHL. Don’t give up on Bunting, he only played two seasons in the OHL and will need time to adjust to the pro game. In the ECHL he will get more playing time than in Springfield which will help him make that adjustment. Keith Duggan

August 2015- After an excellent showing at the Coyotes annual Prospect Development Camp during the summer, Michael Bunting was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract. Bunting seems ready for the next challenge and most likely plays in the AHL during 2015-16. Keith Duggan

June 2015- It was an awesome sophmore season for Michael Bunting who took his play up a level after a strong rookie year. He racked up 37 goals and 74 points in 57 games, along with only 39 PIMs despite playing a pretty effective agitating game. His Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds had a good run in the playoffs till running into Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters, Bunting putting up nine goals and 14 points in 14 games. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in 2015-16. Bunting has only played two seasons of major junior so a overage year in the OHL could be good for his development. But he seems ready for the next challange and could be up for the AHL. Keith Duggan

December 2014- Michael Bunting has been suspended ten games for a hit he threw on Sarnia Sting player Josh Chapman on 12/7. Aside from the suspension it has been a strong sophmore season for the 2014 fourth round pick. He’s totaled 29 points in 28 games, racking up 14 goals and 15 assists. Keith Duggan

June 2014- The Arizona Coyotes drafted Michael Bunting in the fourth round, 117th overall in the 2014 NHL entry draft. Keith Duggan

June 2014 –Playing in his rookie OHL season in his draft season, Michael Bunting impressed with his ability to make an impact almost immediately. Bunting climbed the depth charts and found himself earning valuable minutes on a strong Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds team. He is an intelligent player who gains good positioning and has strong instinctual reads. Bunting is strong in possession and shows a willingness to drive the net, despite being somewhat undersized. The former Don Mills Flyers’ forward has already experienced an impressive development and teams will be looking for him to continue on his development curve as he gains more experience. Brendan Ross

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 9.0
Country CAN
Position LW
Roster Type NHL
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth September 17, 1995
Height 5‘11”
Weight 197 lbs
Drafted 2014 Round 4; Overall: 117

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2011-2012 Cardinal Newman CatholicCAHS- - -- -|        
 2012-2013 Don Mills Flyers U18 AAAGTHL U1828 27 1239 44|        
  Don Mills Flyers U18 AAAOHA Cup7 6 814 56|        
 2013-2014 Soo GreyhoundsOHL48