Author: Joe Yerdon

Anthony Mantha

Get to know a prospect — Anthony Mantha

Leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.

Anthony Mantha (RW)

Height: 6’4″  Weight: 190  Shoots: Left

Team: Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: 10th ranked skater in North America

What kind of player is he?

The million dollar question for Mantha is figuring out just what kind of player he’s going to be. This season he scored a career-high 50 goals and 89 points for Val-d’Or. His 50-spot led the QMJHL in goals but there are some who believe he can’t bring that kind of production to the next level.

His offensive game goes unquestioned (hey, 50 goals will do that) but questions have been raised about his eagerness. The offensive numbers and talk about how good his shot is are hard to ignore. Are the questions about the “fire in his game” enough to keep him down in the first-round? Stranger things have happened (remember Zach Parise’s slide to 17th overall in 2003?) but one stinging critique of his game has seen him compared to Benoit Pouliot.


“Love him when he has the puck on his stick. I’m not his biggest fan when he doesn’t. Looks like a boom or bust guy to me.” — Mark Edwards –

“Big stud that can skate, hard to handle, can dominate. Long stride, soft hands, not physical, great feel, didn’t do enough in Halifax, needs to be WAY more physical.” — Mark Seidel – North American Central Scouting

“He’s a big kid with a lot of skill. He has everything you need to succeed — he can skate, he’s smart, he reads the play, he has everything. He might need to work on his defensive game, but he can be taught that. You can’t teach talent like he has, or hands like he has.” — Chris Bordeleau – NHL Central Scouting

For more 2013 NHL Draft previews, click here

Blue Jackets sign coach Richards to one-year extension

Todd Richards

Coach Todd Richards’ efforts to get the Columbus Blue Jackets to within a point of the playoffs have been rewarded.

The team announced they’ve signed Richards to a one-year extension to keep him in charge of the team through the 2014-2015 season.

Columbus went 24-17-7 this past season much in thanks to the play of Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. While the Jackets struggled scoring goals, his play and the play of Columbus’ defense helped keep them in more games than not. It also made them one of the more dangerous teams to face down the stretch.

Now Richards will see what he can do with the Jackets over the course of a full 82-game season. Of course, bringing back Bobrovsky will be an important part of that and he’s still being coy with Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen about returning there.

PHT Extra: What will the Avalanche do with the first pick?

Nathan MacKinnon

Mike and Jason sit down with Kay Adams to discuss the many ways the Colorado Avalanche can go about handling the first pick overall in the NHL Draft.

Do they go with the big defenseman who grew up worshiping Joe Sakic in Seth Jones or do they go with offense in Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin? The guys discuss their many options.

Rangers will not buy out Brad Richards this summer

Brad Richards

Brad Richards doesn’t have to worry about leaving New York this summer.

The Rangers announced theywill not be using a compliance on any players this summer, including Richards. That gives him a season to prove to new head coach Alain Vigneault as well as to GM Glen Sather that his struggles last season under John Tortorella were an aberration.

Richards’ struggles with the Rangers last season were well documented by the end of the season and into the playoffs. There he found himself going from a fourth line player to a healthy scratch in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

All this means now is that Richards has a full season to show the Rangers he’s worth keeping around. The NHL has another round of compliance buyouts next summer. The Rangers have already used one of their two buyouts on Wade Redden before the season began.

Report: Flyers shopping Braydon Coburn

Braydon Coburn

The Flyers might be busy moving out a defenseman during the offseason.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Philadelphia is looking at trading blueliner Braydon Coburn. His source comes from a rival GM who has heard about Coburn’s availability and the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes are two teams that could seek to get involved.

Both the Oilers and Hurricanes have drastic needs to upgrade their defense corps and both teams can afford Coburn’s $4.5 million cap hit over the next three years of his contract. Of course, Coburn was one of Philly’s better defenders last season and while they’ve signed Mark Streit to a four-year deal, he’s not-so hot of a defender.

If the Flyers do move Coburn at the draft, you wonder if they’re asking to swap first-round picks as part of the deal. With some highly-regarded defenders available early on, the Flyers might look to grab one even higher. Philly currently has the No. 11 pick overall in the first.