Leafs GM Kyle Dubas sure likes bringing in former Soo Greyhounds to Toronto — and it appears that Michael Bunting is about to join that list.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted on Wednesday morning — along with several other “guesses, predictions, and good fits” — that Bunting and Toronto have been linked on a contract.
Ryan Suter and DAL; Zach Parise and NYI; Michael Bunting and TOR; David Savard and MTL; Jaden Schwartz and SEA; Tony DeAngelo and CAR; Jaro Halak, Luke Schenn and VAN; Jake McCabe and CHI; Andrew Cogliano and SJ; Zach Hyman and EDM; David Rittich and NSH. Many more to come.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 28, 2021
McKenzie originally reported the Bunting to the Leafs news yesterday afternoon as “logical speculation” while noting that multiple teams have interest in the free agent forward.
Michael Bunting — 10 G in 21 GP with ARI this season — is the rare Group VI free agent. All the logical speculation is on him being reunited with his Soo Greyhound GM (Kyle Dubas) and head coach (Sheldon Keefe) in TOR but multiple teams interested. @TSNHockey
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 27, 2021
No term or dollar amount has been speculated yet.
In 21 games played for Arizona this past season, Bunting put up 10 goals along with three assists for a total of 13 points. Bunting also scored seven goals and added 12 assists for a total of 19 points in just 16 games with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners this year.
A Scarborough native was taken in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Bunting played under current Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe while with the Greyhounds in his two-season OHL tenure from 2013-15, with Dubas being the team’s GM in his first season. The 2014-15 season, which saw Keefe and Bunting’s Greyhounds put up a remarkable 54-14-2 regular season record, was the Leafs’ coach’s last before being named the head bench boss for the Toronto Marlies the following year.
Previous Soo Greyhounds to be in the Leafs organization under Dubas include Jared McCann (albeit briefly), Kyle Clifford, Rasmus Sandin, Mac Hollowell, David Broll, Alex Gudbranson, Tyler Gaudet, and Ryan Sproul.