The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/10/14 at 03:58 PM ET
Anthony Mantha had a big return to the QMJHL after an unsuccesful-in-the-results-department World Junior Championship run with Team Canada (though he proved at least some of his detractors wrong along the way), scoring 2 goals in the Val-d'Or Foreurs' 4-1 win over Drummondville last night.
His status as the QMJHL's leading scorer (with 37 goals, 38 assists and 75 points registered over the course of all of 33 games played) and statistical milestone-setter despite a 3-plus-week absence may be put into a little perspective, however, via this video from Hockey Prospect Videos, illustrating that Mantha's status as having genuine 30-to-35-goal-scoring potential does not change the fact that he's playing major junior hockey, not professional hockey--because pro hockey doesn't allow you to wind up and wait for a picture-perfect pass on a repeated basis:
I'm not insinuating that Mantha has anything less than elite scoring potential at the professional level--because he really does have 30+ goal "upside" if he keeps filling that lanky 6'4" frame out and keeps working as hard as he's been working on rounding out his game--but I think we all need to "be reminded" that junior hockey is a world away from the NHL, and that Mantha's not going to suddenly step into the Wings' lineup next season. He's highly likely to graduate to the AHL level needing a season or two to establish himself as a pro before needing a season or two to establish himself as a key contributor, like Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, etc. before him.
Personally speaking, I'm not quite up to posting regularly yet, but this one kind of landed in my lap.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.