Detroit Red Wings
RedWingsSeasonTickets.com Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Mantha's living for the moment with Wings

50-goal scorer in the QMJHL is a very intriguing prospect

Monday, 09.16.2013 / 1:35 PM ET / Preview
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Mantha\'s living for the moment with Wings

Forward Anthony Mantha will play in his first NHL preseason game tonight when the Penguins host the Red Wings in Pittsburgh. Mantha has produced 72 goals and 68 assists in 132 games in the QMJHL. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. Anthony Mantha’s confidence was riding sky-high when he was drafted by the Red Wings in June. And rightly so, the 6-foot-4 forward was the 20th overall player selected on Day 1 of the two-day draft in New Jersey.

Three months later, the big, left winger is more realistic about his chances of cracking the Red Wings’ roster this month, but it hasn’t dimmed his outlook for the future.

“I’m close, but at the same time I’m so far,” Mantha said. “There are so many players out there. If it’s not this year I’ll go back to my junior team and work on every detail that I can so when they call me up anytime they’ll have confidence in me to play here one day.”

The Canadian Hockey League’s only 50-goal scorer last season, it’s evident that the Red Wings’ coaches want to take a longer look at Mantha. The Red Wings entered the 2013 draft with the philosophy of adding big, physical forwards to the system. Mantha is a real intriguing package. To go along with his size, he possesses a great shot and seems to find the open ice on the offensive end.

Mantha survived the first day of cuts when the Red Wings sent five youngsters – forwards Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph), Philippe Hudon (Victoriaville) and Zach Nastasiuk (Owen Sound), defenseman Michal Plutnar (Tri-City), and goalie Jake Paterson (Saginaw) – back to their junior teams on Sunday.

So having played in the prospect tournament, which the young Wings won, and four days of training camp, where is Mantha’s confidence heading into tonight’s exhibition?

“It would be close to the top right now,” he said. “I never lived this. I live for the moment and I’m just playing how I should play. I think the details are coming in and that’s why I’m still here and I’ll keep playing that way until the end.”

Mantha, who turned 19 today, will be in the lineup tonight when the Red Wings travel to Pittsburgh to open the eight-game exhibition season against the Penguins and his boyhood idol.

Mantha is expected to play on the fourth-line with fellow prospect Calle Jarnkrok and veteran forward Jordin Tootoo. According to the Penguins’ web site, Sidney Crosby will center a line with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis.

“We were laughing about it, a few guys yesterday, like I’ll ask (Crosby) for an autograph at the faceoff,” Mantha joked. “He’s one of the greatest players out there and playing against, even if he’s not on my team, just watching him I can learn a lot off it just watching him play. I’ll try to manage not get scored on by him tonight.”

By the end of the month, Mantha will likely return to his QMJHL team in Val-d’Or for his fourth junior season, but not before using every minute in the Wings’ training camp as a learning moment.

“You need to learn everyday you’re out here on the ice,” said Mantha, who is the grandson of four-time Stanley Cup winner Andre Pronovost. “There are such good players out there that every day you can learn something new. I just watched at the end (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Jakub) Kindl play one-on-one, he has one of the best pair of hands in the league and he still practices it. It’s all the details that make the difference.”

But tonight will be something that Mantha will always remember.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” he said. “I’m playing in Pittsburgh, it’ll be a dream coming true for me. I’m pretty excited.”

The Red Wings will take 20 players, including 13 regulars, to Pittsburgh tonight. The line combinations and defensive pairings are:

FORWARDS
Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukJustin Abdelkader
Daniel ClearyJoakim AnderssonMikael Samuelsson
Tomas Tatar
– Luke Glendenning – Landon Ferraro
Anthony Mantha
Calle JarnkrokJordin Tootoo

DEFENSEMEN
Danny DeKeyserJakub Kindl
Kyle Quincey
Brendan Smith
Brennan Evans – Adam Almquist

GOALIES
Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80