By Kyle Shohara
The final day of Anaheim’s week-long prospect development camp was capped with an intrasquad scrimmage held in front of yet another packed house at The Rinks – Anaheim ICE.
Leading the way was Anaheim’s second-round draft pick Brandon Montour, who finished the scrimmage with two goals. The 20-year-old defenseman was selected 55th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia, a “home run” pick according to Anaheim’s Director of Amateur Scouting Martin Madden.
Montour says he came away with a lot of useful information during his time at development camp. “All week, the coaches brought me aside and taught me the ins and outs that we need to learn to make the next level,” he said. “The biggest thing is the learning process throughout the week. I gained a lot of information and I’m going to carry that on to school.”
On his performance this afternoon, Montour says the puck happened to find his stick on a couple occasions. “It’s good to help the guys,” he said. “It was all fun.”
Montour will attend the University of Massachusetts in the fall after a superb season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. He was named the 2013-14 USHL Defenseman of the Year and USHL Player of the Year as determined by a vote of league coaches and general managers.
Montour played all 60 regular season games for the Black Hawks and totaled 62 points (14g/48a) to lead USHL defensemen in scoring and finish ninth overall in the league. It was the most points by a defenseman in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), surpassing the 60 points (13g/47a) by Colby Cohen of the Lincoln Stars in 2006-07, and was just five points shy of the USHL all-time record of 67 points scored by Mike Ross of the Rochester Mustangs in the 1986-87 season.
“I’m an offensive defenseman, and this year in Waterloo definitely helped me transition my game into a two-way defenseman,” he said. “This whole year was a process, and I’m excited to keep it going.”
Montour isn’t just a one-sport athlete. He plays lacrosse during the summer months and says his play on the field helps his game on the ice especially with stickhandling and hand-eye coordination.
Fans in attendance during the two open scrimmages at Anaheim ICE caught glimpses of the style Montour brings to the rink. “I like to jump into the play as much as I can,” he said. “Sometimes I might get caught, but that’s the learning process. I’m going to learn throughout the years. Hopefully I’ll learn more in the next couple years and be a lot smarter.”
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