|Michael Kantor of Soo Greyhounds|
With the Los Angeles Kings annual summer Development Camp about to get underway we’ve been posting pre-camp comments from the players, their coaches and/or their general managers.
Among the group of 35 players who will take the ice at TSC are 14 invited guests – essentially, undrafted players, mostly from Canadian junior teams.
Two such players are coming from the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL. For those unfamiliar, it’s one of the most storied franchises in all of Canada. Their alumni includes former Kings Paul Coffey, Wayne Gretzky, Charlie Simmer, Wayne Simmonds and Rick Tocchet.
And now back to this year’s camp…
It was Kantor’s third year of junior hockey and he came to the Soo via trade mid-season from the Saginaw Spirit. In total, he played 52 games, with 20 points (11g, 9a).
For thoughts on these guys we went straight to the head man in in Sault Ste. Marie, General Manager Kyle Dubas.
Of Miller’s play from the blueline, Dubas said “he has good size, with excellent feet” and called him “one of the best skating defenceman in our league.” He also said Miller “moves the puck extremely well.”
So, why wasn’t he drafted? Well, Dubas isn’t sure, adding “I was surprised he wasn’t drafted. But, he had plenty of options for NHL camps right after the draft.”
Moving on to Kantor, the Soo GM described him as “a Richard Clune type of player.”
I have to admit, that was a first.
He went on to call Kantor an “agitator, somebody who plays each game on the edge.”
And to help drive the point home, Dubas said “Our staff and returning players all see him as a leader. He’s a great kid, who looks bigger than the 6-foot they have him listed at. Michael also had offers from a few other teams and interviewed with a few NHL clubs leading into the draft. When I look at Boston and Vancouver and see guys like Brad Marchand and Max Lapierre playing big roles on the two teams in the Stanley Cup Finals, I see pretty clearly how Michael can play a big role for a good NHL team.”
For more from Dubas, check out his MayorsManor interview from last summer – where we talked about the agent’s role in the NHL Draft. If it’s Soo hockey you’re interested in, here’s a link to our interview with former Greyhounds GM Dave Torrie.
And, of course, for links to more of the pre-camp interviews, please see the list below.
Pre-camp interview with Tyler Toffoli - 2011 OHL scoring champion
Pre-camp interview with Michael Schumacher – 2011 LA Kings (NHL) and Owen Sound (OHL) draft pick
Pre-camp comments from Windsor Spitfires GM Warren Rychel – talking Sam Posa and Jeff Brown