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Wings in Waiting: Anthony Mantha

Red Wings are optimistic about prospect's continued dominance in QMJHL

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 8:19 AM ET / News
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Wings in Waiting: Anthony Mantha
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha (8) will head to Grand Rapids next season to begin the next chapter of his hockey career. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – The youth movement that began in the Red Wings’ organization last season is only looking brighter.

Forward Anthony Mantha, Detroit’s first overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, took over the QMJHL during the 2013-14 season, leading the league with 57 goals and 120 points in just 57 games. The 6-foot-4 right wing earned both the Michel Briere Trophy (the league’s most valuable player) and the Jean Beliveau Trophy (top regular-season scorer) while leading his team, Val-d’Or, to its first division championship in seven years.

“He's taken over the Quebec league,” said Jiri Fischer, Detroit’s director of player development. “In Val d'Or, they have a fantastic power play. In the Subway Series, he played for Team Quebec. He was on the bubble for the Canadian World Junior team, even though he led the Quebec League in scoring by 25 percent more than the next guy at the time.

“I saw him play in the Subway Series. In the first game, he had a goal and an assist. The next game, he scored another goal on the power play. Then he makes the World Junior roster and he leads Team Canada in scoring in the tournament.”

Mantha played in 63 games with the Foreurs in his first full year in 2011-12 and represented Canada at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship, earning 22 goals and 29 assists.

The forward was Val-d'Or's second-leading scorer during his second season, ranking first in the QMJHL with 50 goals and had 39 assists in 67 games. The Foreurs reached the second round in the playoffs after finishing fourth in the West Division.

Mantha scored five goals with seven assists in nine playoff games.

“He's just a big, strong, 6-foot-4 guy who holds on to the puck under pressure in the offensive zone,” Fischer said. “Month after month, week after week, he just keeps proving that he is a dominant offensive power forward. I'm really excited about him turning pro next year.”

The Red Wings will bring Mantha, 19, up to the Grand Rapids Griffins once his junior team is eliminated from the 2014 postseason but the way he and the Foreurs are playing Wings' fans won't see him for a few months.

Mantha has been a playoff hero, scoring 24 goals in 24 games, including the championship-clinching goal in Game 7 Tuesday. With only 52 seconds left, after Baie-Comeau roared back from a three-goal deficit in the final period, Mantha's goal lifted Val d'Or to the Memorial Cup, which begins Friday in London, Ontario.


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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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80