The Detroit Red Wings had to like what they saw from Anthony Mantha.
Mantha, taken with the 20th overall pick by the Red Wings in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored a hat trick and Team Canada skated to a 7-2 victory over Germany in their opening game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday.
Mantha plays for the Val-d’Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with 35 goals and 73 points in 32 games. His scoring touch continued against Germany, a team Canada was expected to beat. And he also seemed to build some chemistry with Jonathan Drouin, selected third overall in June’s draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Drouin assisted on all three of Mantha’s goals.
“He can score goals, but there are other aspects of his game he needs to continue to work on,” said Canada’s head coach Brent Sutter about Mantha, as per The Canadian Press. “Things I’ve talked to him about one on one.
“It’s simple. It’s being a competitor in all three zones and making sure he’s responsible in all three zones. Not just for this tournament, but for him to be a good pro. Especially with the organization he’ll go to in Detroit. That’s what they expect there. You can’t just play the offensive side of the puck.”
The U.S. started its tournament with a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic, getting goals from five different scorers. Calgary Flames goalie prospect Jon Gillies made 23 for the win.
“It says a lot about our team to have five different scorers,” Gillies told NHL.com. “We’re clicking and all lines are going. It was a great team win.”
Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko had three points – a goal and two assists – in Russia’s 11-0 thumping of Norway.