It seem that ever since Detroit drafted Anthony Mantha with the 20th overall pick in 2013 the Red Wings fans have just been waiting for him to join the club. In typical Detroit fashion though, they decided to send him back down and let him mature in the QMJHL and then the past two years in the AHL.
The Wings are 24th in the league this year though, only averaging 2.48 goals per game and struggling to hold onto the final wildcard spot in the East. The time was right for the 6’6, 204 pound right winger to finally get the call up to the big league. Known for his scoring in the QMJHL with Val d’OR where he put up 50 goals and 87 points in his draft year, only to put up 57 goals and 120 points after being drafted by Detroit. Like most players he hasn’t had the same success in the AHL where it’s much more difficult to score but has put up 15 goals and 32 points in his first full season last year and 21 goal and 45 points so far this season in Grand Rapids through 56 games.
It’s not to often you can grab a prospect with this size, speed and just overall offensive game that Mantha posses. He will be asked to play a full 200 foot game with the Red Wings but the big winger has come a long way when it comes to his own end of the ice. He was criticized coming into the draft that he was only a one way player that didn’t show much for effort on the defensive end and has put in the work to change the opinion of his critics since, knowing that the Red Wings wouldn’t put up with that. With a quick release and a nose for the net though, he should help the Detroit for years to come as they transition out of the Datsyuk and Zetterberg era in Motor City.