“Shoutout to Brandon Montour for coming by practice today! New righty on the squad,” posted the Buffalo Bandits to Facebook on Sunday, December 1.
The Six Nations native suited up for a practice days before the Key bank Centre is set to host the San Diego Seals in the home opener at Banditland on December 6. Big names like Dhane Smith and Quinn Powless were also pictured.
Earning himself one assist on Saturday against the Leafs, another on Sunday and another assist on Monday against the Devils, Montours return to the ice has been welcomed.
It was announced in September that Montour would be out 3-4 weeks for the Sabres because of a hand injury. He was acquired in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 24 and earned 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 20 games with Buffalo.
Earlier in July, Buffalo News also published an article citing that Montour made the effort to work with a youth hockey camp in Whitehorse, Yukon.
About 110 children from the 13 First Nations communities across the Yukon Territory attended the camp in Whitehorse in July. Montour skated with two of the three groups, spoke to the children about his path to the NHL and reminded them to never get discouraged.
Buffalo News wrote that Montour viewed his time in Whitehorse as mutually beneficial. The trip provided him with an opportunity to see the mountainous landscape around Whitehorse — Cozens offered a few travel tips to Montour prior to his departure — and views these camps as an opportunity for personal growth.
Many children in Whitehorse have to travel hundreds of miles to play hockey competitively, while others only see ice time during the Yukon Native Hockey Tournament every March. A large majority of the youth don’t have the financial means to pursue hockey beyond a recreational level.
In 2018, Ethan Clow from Last Word On Hockey wrote “after stepping into the NHL last season, Montour has steadily received more ice time from coach Randy Carlyle. While averaging 20:28 in the regular season, he has seen an increase to 24:58 in the playoffs. There are not many 25-minute per game defensemen in the NHL (10 to be exact), and no skater averaged more than 27 minutes per game. Defensemen with the endurance and the trustworthiness to play that amount of time are very hard to come by. Fowler is the usual man for the job in Anaheim, but Montour has been handed the role. Montour however, has not only adapted to the increase but has also excelled in it.”
He has since made his presence known after playing in the GOHL without much exposure.