Hard-driven Michael Kantor, who played in more than 200 Ontario Hockey League games for Saginaw Spirit, Soo Greyhounds and Sudbury Wolves despite never being drafted, is turning to the business side of the game.
The 28-year old Kantor, who now resides in Connecticut, has joined JDM Sports Management as a family advisor/player agent.
During his playing days, Kantor himself was a client of JDM Sports president David Maciuk.
Kantor played minor hockey within the reputable Chicago Young Americans program, which is where he first met Maciuk.
“I guess I have come full circle with Dave now,” Kantor laughed. “First I was his client and now he is my boss.”
Kantor, who lives in Connecticut with his wife, also coaches an under-13 hockey team in the Hartford area.
As a right winger, Kantor was known for his work ethic and character, traits that first led him to sign with Saginaw as an OHL free agent midway through the 2009-2010 season.
He was later acquired by the Soo from Saginaw and wound up his OHL career in style with Sudbury, scoring 20 goals during the 2012-2013 season as the Wolves captain who led by example.
Blaine Smith, who was Sudbury’s general manager at the time, recalled Kantor’s breakthrough OHL season with the Wolves.
“Kants was our captain in his final year in the OHL,” Smith told Hockey News North. “He scored 20 goals that year as an overager and was signed by the New York Rangers (of the National Hockey League) when the season ended.
“Mike was a terrific leader for us and could play any style of game,” Smith said in praise of Kantor. “He helped lead our team to a first-round upset over the Brampton (now North Bay) Battalion in 2013.”
After graduating from the OHL, Kantor played three seasons of minor pro hockey, including time in the American Hockey League with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the no. 1 farm team of the NHL Rangers.
Bruno Bragagnolo, who is now the president and general manager of the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, coached Kantor in minor hockey back in Chicago.
“He was a player who would go through a wall for you,” Bragagnolo said of Kantor. “He had skill but it was his hard work, determination and leadership that really stood out.
“I am sure that Mike will do a great job representing players and their families for Dave Maciuk and JDM Sports,” Bragagnolo added. “Parents and their kids will be in good hands with Mike.”
Kantor can be reached by telephone at 203-779-9693.
PHOTO: Michael Kantor, while playing in the OHL for the Soo Greyhounds.