So far this season there have not been very many bright spots for the Detroit Red Wings. They have fallen victim to an abundance of injuries, and have not had goal support, or solid defense to help get wins. However, there has been one bright spot that has helped in all of those aspects, rookie, Anthony Mantha.
Mantha made his NHL debut last season for the Red Wings appearing in 10 games, registering two goals and three points. He started the 2016-2017 season playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL, but because of injuries, Mantha made his NHL season debut in early November.
The 22 year old from Longueuil, Quebec made his first appearance this year on November 12th against the Montreal Canadiens. Since then, Mantha has played in 22 games, registering nine goals and seven assists for 16 points and a plus 10 rating.
Mantha is making the most of his shot in the NHL, and he is making it very hard for Detroit to send him back to the AHL when the Red Wings become healthy again. Of his nine goals thus far, two of them are game winning goals, and he is shooting at nearly 17 percent.
Mantha was Detroit’s first-round pick, 20th overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and he is quickly becoming a rising star for the Detroit Red Wings. His play has continues to get better with every passing game, as he proves that he can make clutch plays when the game is on the line.
In the Red Wings most recent game, the NHL Centennial Classic, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mantha scored two goals and added an assist. His second goal came with just under two seconds left in the game, and it was the game tying goal that forced overtime. Ultimatly the Red Wings would go on to lose against the Maple Leafs, but Mantha’s play proved that he can make clutch plays when the game is on the line.
In my opinion, Mantha is the real deal for the Red Wings, and I expect to see him in a Red Wings jersey for many years to come. He is becoming the go-to guy for Detroit, and he has very good chemistry with line-mate Henrik Zetterberg.
As long as Mantha is able to stay healthy and continue to contribute, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him close to, or higher than 35 points by the end of the year. His laser quick shot makes Mantha fun to watch when he has the puck, and his ability to make the right choices in all three zones makes him a key asset for the Wings moving forward.