5’8.5” – 175 lbs
Michael Im is a real student of the game. His dedication to improving and being an effective player on the ice is evident when you watch him play. Im has an emphasis for his play in his own zone and plays a strong defensive game. Despite not being the biggest player on the ice, he plays like he is 6’4. In his own zone, he is always involved in the physical aspects of the game. He will use his body to try and knock the biggest and best players out of the play and does so with a great degree of effectiveness. Im’s fearlessness is most prominent with his tendency to block shots. The Toronto Marlboros defenseman is as good a shot blocker as any 2005 born defenseman. He is able to read plays at a high-level and knows the right moments when to lay his body on the line. He gets in front of opposing players at the precise moment to block scoring chances and shows no hesitation when doing so which is quite impressive for a smaller, 15-year old defenseman. His hockey IQ makes him a formidable foe in his own zone and results in Im always being in the right position. He is also proficient at utilizing his defensive stick with a high-degree of effectiveness.
As a student of the game, Im is always putting in the work and his skating is a testament to the work he puts in as his technique is clearly something that he spends a great deal of time working on and it shows on the ice. His lateral quickness and edge work helps him move quickly and change directions seamlessly at top speed. He uses all of this together to always make him ready for a turnover or a great play that requires him to shift directions quickly.
Offence is not the most prominent aspect of his game because he knows where he is needed and is able to analyze the strengths of his team. The Marlboros are loaded with high-end offensive players. Im recognizes that Toronto does not need him to go end-to-end for highlight reel goals, instead they need a reliable puck-moving defenseman who can match up against anyone in his own zone. He tends to get his name on the board by throwing pucks on net from the blue-line and letting his forwards do the rest. With that being said, Im does possess a good shot and is a decent playmaker as well. He needs to work on getting the puck off his stick faster with more power to be able to add to his offensive game.