Tag: Anthony Mantha

AnthonyMantha

Welcome Anthony Mantha to the trade rumor mill

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At the NHL trade deadline Anthony Mantha was a prospect the Detroit Red Wings were unwilling to part ways with; however, it appears things have changed.

According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the Wings’ are now willing to trade Mantha and their first round selection at this month’s draft (19th overall) for the right price.

Cox reports the 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward is the piece that killed any trade talks between the Wings and Leafs, which would’ve sent defenseman Dion Phaneuf to Detroit.

Mantha had a tough first season adjusting to the professional game.

The Red Wings’ first-round selection (20th overall) at the 2013 NHL Draft broke his leg back in September at the team’s rookie tournament in Traverse City.

When he finally returned to game action in mid-November, the 20-year-old struggled to find his groove.

“That injury was hard. It took me two months off so that means I started two months later than everyone,” Mantha told PHT in February. “I’ve started to play really good, but I mean I’m still two months back of everyone so I need to put double the effort in.

“After my injury, it had been five months since I had played a real game and it hurt my confidence a little bit and obviously my game is not the same.”

After consecutive 50-plus goal seasons with Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Mantha finished the 2014-15 season with 15 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He added two goals and two assists in 16 playoff games.

His poor first season in Grand Rapids led to some brutal honesty from longtime Red Wings executive Jim Devellano when asked about Mantha last month.

“Very, very, very disappointing,” said Devellano. “And I say that with a lot of sadness. Coming out of junior, we had such high hopes for him.”

Following the season, Mantha agreed many areas of his game need improvement heading into the 2015-16 season.

“I need to work on my strength, for sure,” Mantha said in May. “I need to work on a lot of aspects of my play, like getting quicker on my skates … I got better as the year went along but I need to keep growing for the summer.”

Despite the rough rookie campaign in Grand Rapids, Wings’ coach Jeff Blashill believes Mantha will be a good pro.

“He’s got special skill for a guy his size. He can do things that other guys just can’t do,” said Blashill in February. “He’s going to be a great player; I truly believe that and its just going to be a matter of time.

“When you care as much as he cares, as soon as he learns the daily attention to detail and the daily work ethic it takes, with his skill set, he’s going to be a special player.”

Mantha’s ‘going to be a great player,’ says Detroit’s AHL coach

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Entering this season there were high hopes for Anthony Mantha.

The Red Wings prospect was hoping to make the leap to the NHL with Detroit; however, Mantha suffered a broken leg at the prospects tournament in Traverse City.

The injury forced the 20-year-old to miss the first month and a half of the season and even today Mantha feels like he’s playing catch up.

“That injury was hard. It took me two months off so that means I started two months later than everyone,” Mantha told PHT recently. “I’ve started to play really good, but I mean I’m still two months back of everyone so I need to put double the effort in.

“After my injury, it had been five months since I had played a real game and it hurt my confidence a little bit and obviously my game is not the same.”

On top of recovering from the broken leg, this is Mantha’s first season in the American Hockey League.

The forward is coming off back-to-back 50 goal seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Val d’Or Foreurs.

In 36 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Mantha has eight goals and 10 assists.

“I think its been hard. Especially starting late on everyone, but I’m getting there now and its going up hill,” Mantha said of the adjustment. “The guys are way better over here. They’re stronger; they’re harder on the puck. The goalies are also really good over here.”

Despite his early season struggles, Griffins’ coach Jeff Blashill has no doubt about Mantha’s future in the game.

“He’s got special skill for a guy his size. He can do things that other guys just can’t do,” said Blashill. “He’s going to be a great player; I truly believe that and its just going to be a matter of time.

“When you care as much as he cares, as soon as he learns the daily attention to detail and the daily work ethic it takes, with his skill set, he’s going to be a special player.”

As with any 20-year-old playing in the AHL, Blashill says Mantha needs to shed some of his junior habits in order to take his game to the next level.

“He was able to get away with not skating a ton and I think at this level you have to skate to get the puck, skate to get the puck back, you have to skate to make sure you’re not spending the whole time in the defensive zone,” said Blashill. “Its just a matter of changing those habits.

“That’s just going to take time, but habits will change if work at them and willing to work hard at them and listen and get better. That’s what he’s certainly been willing to do.”

Detroit is notorious developing late-round picks into NHL players. Riley Sheahan is the lone Red Wings’ forward currently on the roster, who was selected in the first round by Detroit.

Mantha, the Red Wings’ first-round pick (20th overall) in 2013, could soon be the second.

“We know he can score goals,” said Blashill. “But he’s actually got an ability to make lots of plays with the puck in tight areas and I think when you’ve got that kind of stick, at that size level, when you can skate like that – its just a really good package.”

World Juniors: Finland beats Sweden 3-2 in overtime to win gold

Rasmus Ristolainen
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Rasmus Ristolainen’s golden goal in overtime gave Finland a 3-2 victory against rival Sweden and their first World Junior Championships gold medal since 1998.

Ristolainen, a 2013 Buffalo Sabres first-round pick, pinched in deep to deke and beat Swedish goalie, and Blue Jackets prospect, Oscar Dansk for the game-winner. Blackhawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen assisted on all three Finnish goals.

Here’s video of the game-winner. Enjoy the Finnish call of the game.

Celebrating victory gets weird when you’re in Sweden though as Ristolainen shows in this GIF courtesy of CJZero.

source:

Pippi Longstocking wigs are so in, you guys. It’s a Swedish thing so that’s just super.

It turned out to be a good tournament for fans of the Sabres and Nashville Predators. Swedish forward Filip Forsberg was named MVP of the tournament as well as Best Forward and was one of the tourney’s all-stars up front. Teravainen and Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha were also named to the all-star team.

Ristolainen won the award for Best Defenseman and he along with Russian defenseman Nikita Zadorov were named to the tournament’s all-star team as was Finnish goalie and Predators prospect Juuse Saros.

Next year’s tournament moves to Canada where it’ll be held in Toronto and Montreal. With Canada not winning a medal the past two years and not having won gold in five years, the pressure will be on.

Get to know a prospect — Anthony Mantha

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.

Quotable:

“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 – HockeyProspect.com

“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