SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League, have been prepping Six Nations born and raised defenseman Brandon Montour this season for his debut with the mother team, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
The offensive minded defenseman has been bulking up for the “bigs” and believes he is just about ready to make that step, but is patient enough to know that decision is not his.
In the meantime he continues to impress the Ducks brass who hold him in high esteem and don’t want to advance the 22-year-old too soon.
“You never know,” Montour told the Two Row Times in an interview from San Diego. “Both the Gulls and the Ducks are in the playoffs now (and will likely stand pat with their lineups) but there may be an injury or something. You never know.”
Getting there was a road that took him to the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, UMass Amherst, last season with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL before landing a spot with the San Diego Gulls, one step away from “the show” as hockey players refer to the NHL.
Impressive reports from hockey insiders show him as an excellent skater, great vision on the ice, a solid checker and more than able to jump up into the play and use his great shot and natural playmaking skills in an offensive mode.
This past AHL regular season Montour appeared in 68 games with 12 goals and 45 assists for 57 points as a defenseman.
“Sometimes when you only look at statistics and the fact that I am an offensive minded defenseman, you might assume that my offensive numbers indicate I’m not looking after the “D”, but I don’t think that’s the case,” he says. “Right now they want me to stay back and settle into more of a defensive mode, and that’s OK with me.”
But at the same time, he has been given the vote of confidence by the coaching staff that if he sees a chance, to take it.
After turning pro, Montour, found himself in a land of giants where the players are bigger, the game is faster and definitely tougher. But Montour is not shying away from what it takes to make an NHL career.
Although still the kind, modest and polite young man from Six Nations, he can see the improvement in his game that everyday on the ice has sharpened every aspect of my game and he believes he is ready for the challenge when he gets the call from Anaheim.
Montour was able to return home to Six Nations for a couple of days during the season, but doesn’t expect to come home again until after the hockey season. Those that know Montour, know his talents also include being a pro-quality lacrosse player.