Despite not being a big points producer, 1996 birth-year centre Michael Amadio of Sault Ste. Marie still managed to become a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings at the recent National Hockey League draft.
Amadio’s totals as a second-year Ontario Hockey League skater with the North Bay Battalion were modest: 12 goals, 26 assists, 38 points in 64 regular-season games.
But this is how one scouting service described Amadio prior to the draft.
“One of the most defensively-responsible players in this draft class. He is a very smart player with a high hockey IQ and he always understands where to be on the ice. His positioning defensively is excellent and he’s always strong on the back check. He often takes on tough assignments and plays against opposing teams best offensive players and he does a good job of holding his own and shadowing them. With the puck, he keeps things simple and doesn’t force a play if it isn’t there. He’s very smart with the puck.”
The Stanley Cup champion Kings apparently agreed.
It’s still early and Amadio has a couple of seasons of junior hockey remaining before he turns pro.
But this is a kid who has adapted well to North Bay coach Stan Butler and his defense-first systems. And let it be noted that Los Angeles has a good recent history of drafting players in the mid-to-late rounds who make it to the NHL.
Did the Kings get a third-round steal with the selection of Amadio?
The answer to that question is but a few years away.
PHOTO: Michael Amadio dons a Los Angeles Kings hat after being selected by the NHL team. (Photo by Aaron Bell.)