When the Detroit Red Wings drafted Anthony Mantha 20th overall in 2013, big time expectations were given to the young Canadian.
Mantha scored 57 goals and had 63 assists in 57 games the 2013-14 junior season, his last in the Quebec Major Junior League, adding 24 more goals and 14 more assists in 24 playoff games. Thats 158 points in 81 games.
Mantha’s scoring talent was never in question.
After a few up and down seasons, where he had shown flashes of his potential, Mantha has finally starting putting it all together for the Red Wings at the age of 25.
2019 has been his best calendar year since joining the Red Wings. He finished the 2018-19 season scoring 34 of his 48 points when the calendar hit January 1st. Over the summer for the Canadian team in the Ice Hockey World Championships “Anth Manth” (Is this his nickname? Did I just come up with a new nickname?) had seven goals and seven assists, totaling 14 points in nine games against the best (somewhat) that the world has to offer.
He has picked up right where he left off. In the first two NHL games of the season, Mantha has five goals and two assists, including four goals in a 4-3 Red Wings win over the Dallas Stars.
The best quote came from Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier, who said “He had a night tonight.”
Primarily playing with the speedy Dylan Larkin and gritty Tyler Bertuzzi, Mantha is the finisher on what is becoming a formidable young first line for a Red Wing team that isn’t expected to compete this season.
Mantha has always had the talent to be an elite NHL scorer, and it now appears that Coach Jeff Blashill has found the right players around him to help him reach that potential.