The Malik Report
by Paul on 07/13/14 at 06:18 AM ET
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
So despite being the club's No. 1 prospect – one whose arrival is more anticipated than perhaps any other player in the Red Wings' storied history – Mantha is destined to begin his first pro season in Grand Rapids and could spend the entire year in the AHL to gain more experience....
Mantha is ready to play for the Red Wings now.
"If you ask me, I think I am," Mantha said during last week' s development camp in Traverse City. "At the end of the summer, I'll be a few pounds heavier. I think I can play there. But as I mentioned, it's (about) coming to camp, being ready and we'll see.
"I need to keep working, keep getting stronger – on the ice, off the ice. At main camp, I need to be ready mentally so if they give me a chance I need to take it right away. I'll come over here with the best thinking and we'll build off that.
"The skill level is there. I'm a tall, big guy. I think I can play there but obviously I need to be ready next year."
For their part, the Red Wings say Mantha will be given every opportunity to make the big club when he reports to training camp in September.
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