ATO season is here
While Norfolk is not playing for the postseason this year, it is still the time of year for Amateur Tryout Contracts (ATO). When drafted players are done with their college seasons, those with contracts sign ATOs with their parent club’s top affiliate. This allows players to get experience at a professional level before their entry-level contract (ELC) kicks in. For college players like Josh Manson, it provides them with a “training camp” of sorts that prepares them for the pro game they will play starting the next season. Brandon Montour falls in that category.
Anaheim’s 2014 second round draft pick, Montour is an offensive-minded defenseman who played a large portion of this hockey season at UMass-Amherst. Due to eligibility issues, Montour had to start the season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, America’s top junior hockey league. During this season, he put up stellar numbers with both teams. In Waterloo, Montour put up 6+15=21 in 17 games, and then proceeded to put 3+17=20 in 21 games for the UMass Minutemen. Numbers like that would be great for a forward. Montour is a much sought after right-handed shot on the blue line, and one that can drive a power play. With Anaheim stocking up in the puck-moving D category, he may have a bit of trouble joining a crowded corps at the top.
Norfolk has had a set defense for the past few games, even with the call-up of Kevin Lind from ECHL Utah. Anaheim just inked Montour to an ELC and definitely wants to see him play. If I had to guess, the Ads will probably scratch Jaycob Megna in favor of Montour. Megna is a left-handed shot that does not move the puck, playing alongside a similar player in Mark Fistric. I’d expect Montour to get some minutes on the power play, perhaps taking over at the point. Montour will wear 38 with the Admirals.
the Ads signed another ECHLer to a PTO today, with Robert Cznarik of the Ontario Reign. Did not make much of an impact with the Monarchs, will wear number 32…