Prized prospect Mantha to stick in Detroit ‘long term’

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Anthony Mantha isn’t going to be a one-and-done.

Mantha, Detroit’s first-round pick (2oth overall) at the 2013 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight against the Flyers and — per head coach Jeff Blashill — will be sticking around Detroit for the foreseeable future.

Per MLive, the plan is to keep Mantha around long term. This blueprint reveal comes one day after the club brought Mantha up from AHL Grand Rapids — despite the fact that, earlier this season, the Red Wings shot down the idea of recalling the 21-year-old.

Things changed, however.

For one, Detroit’s in the midst of a playoff fight, trying to hold off the aforementioned Flyers for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wings also suffered a disheartening 1-0 loss to lowly Toronto on Sunday, a game in which they failed to score despite firing 38 shots on Jonathan Bernier.

It would seem, at least from this morning’s line rushes, that Mantha will be leaned upon to do what he does best — score goals.

The former Quebec Junior sniper was skating on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar on Tuesday. That should bode well for Mantha — a two-time 50-goal scorer with Val d’Or, he has an impressive 21 goals and 45 points through 56 games with Grand Rapids this season.