Calder Trophy nomination another feather in the cap in Michael Bunting’s rise with the Maple Leafs

When Michael Bunting signed a two-year, $1.9 million contract to play for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, there was no way to know it would have worked out this well.
The 26-year-old is now a Calder Trophy finalist after a standout rookie season that saw him score 23 goals and 63 points in his first full season in the NHL. But with the announcement of the nomination coming just one day before his team has a chance to advance to the first round since 2004, the Scarborough native wasn’t ready to indulge in the honour.
“It was a lot of fun this season and I had some success, but I am more worried about the playoffs and (Thursday’s) game,” Bunting said before his Maple Leafs prepared to travel to Tampa for Game 6 of their first-round playoffs series.
If any of the Maple Leafs’ signings this past summer was set to prove their naysayers wrong, it was Bunting. He is the quintessential late bloomer.
A fourth-round pick from the 2014 NHL Draft, it wasn’t until last season that the pesky forward received an extended look at the NHL level. That is where he turned an extended run of 21 games with the Arizona Coyotes where he scored 10 goals into an invite from …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

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