Michael Amadio looking to become a complete forward

Author: Robert Morales, Los Angeles Daily News
Date: Mar 9, 2018

LOS ANGELES — Michael Amadio scored 50 goals and doled out 48 assists in junior hockey in 2015-16. He had 16 goals and 25 assists the following year in 68 games for the Ontario Reign of the AHL, and 11 goals and 24 assists in just 32 games this season for Ontario.

Obviously, he can produce at the lower levels. Now he’s getting the chance to do that in the NHL with the Kings. In 27 games before Thursday, the rookie forward had four goals and three assists.

“I think I’m just finding my game, feeling more confident in myself in my ability to play at this level,” said Amadio, 21. “All the guys have been great here, helping me feel that way. So it’s been a process, but I feel really good out there.”

Coach John Stevens said that, of course, Amadio has areas in which he must improve, such as consistency from shift to shift.

“But I think he understands the game really well,” Stevens said. “He’s got a high level of hockey intelligence and he’s probably more responsible without the puck than I knew; I just didn’t know him that well.

“Sometimes you’ve got an offensive player and you’re not sure about that part of his game.”

Stevens also likes Amadio’s mettle.

“The one area that we really like in his game is he’s got a lot of composure,” said Stevens, whose playoff-contending team defeated the Washington Capitals 3-1 Thursday night at Staples Center. “He can take a puck in small spaces and hang onto it. He’s got a low-panic threshold that allows him to make plays in tight spaces.

“With that part of his game, I think there are elements to his game that you can’t teach.”

Amadio suggested he’s currently concentrating more on the non-offensive parts of his game, so as to become a solid two-way forward.

“I always want to be good defensively in my own end,” he said. “And then from there, once I nail that and have that all good, then I can start worrying about my offensive game, getting creative offensively.”

As for any inconsistencies he might show in a given shift, Stevens said, “I think that’s true with any young player.”

Fair enough, but Amadio wants to be that consistent player.

“Yeah, that’s definitely something I need to work on, too, consistency, being good every night,” Amadio said.

He seems to realize that won’t come overnight because he is now playing with and against the best players in the world.

“Yeah, it’s definitely a big jump from the American League,” Amadio said. “It’s a big task, but I need to be able to do it to be able to play in this league.”

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