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Red Wings prospect news: Mantha scores a hat trick, likely to make Canada’s WJC team tomorrow

As TSN's Bob McKenzie reported, Hockey Canada will be announcing its World Junior Selection Camp roster at 1 PM on Monday, and he doesn't believe that Hockey Canada will entertain many try-outs given that the team's roster is more or less set going into this January's tournament in Belaurs.

It's expected that Red Wings prospect and Saginaw Spirit goaltender Jake Paterson will start for Canada, and while the following gentleman is playing in the highest-scoring junior hockey league in Canada, it's hard to ignore his hat trick in the Val-d'Or Foreurs' 6-1 win over Acadie-Bathurst, and as he leads the QMJHL in scoring with 30 goals, 32 assists and 62 points registered over the course of only 28 games played, well, per the Canadian Press, expect this guy to crack the roster:

Anthony Mantha scored a hat trick, including a short-handed goal, as the Val d'Or Foreurs thrashed the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 6-1 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Sunday.

Louick Marcotte and Samuel Henley added a goal and an assist apiece and Pierre-Maxime Poudrier scored his seventh goal of the season for the Foreurs (19-11-0).

The Red Wings signed Mantha to a very generous entry-level contract this past October for a simple reason: they would've had to toss off a "rookie cap max" deal had they waited until the end of the 13-14 season to sign him.

Elsewhere in the Red Wings prospect world...

In Sweden's SHL, Mattias Backman played 20:15 but didn't register a point in Linkopings HC's 4-1 win over Leksands IF;

In the QMJHL, Phillipe Hudon didn't register a point in his Victoriaville Tigres' 3-1 win over Chicoutimi;

And in NCAA hockey, in an exhibition game, James de Haas didn't register a point but took 2 shots and finished at +1 in the Clarkson Golden Knights' 6-2 win over Queen's University.

Update: If you missed it, the Grand Rapids Griffins recalled Nick Jensen from the Toledo Walleye on Saturday evening. It made the "liner notes" of the Griffins' recap but may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

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Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Not to be unoriginal, but I can’t wait to see how Mantha develops. What a beast.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 12/02/13 at 01:06 AM ET

RhymeTimeWingsDings's avatar


Yeah I definitely hear ya!  This kid has some serious potential.  I hope a lack of defensive development doesn’t keep him out of the lineup for long.  Wings are all about D first, but to have a possible 50 goal scorer like the next Stamkos is making me dizzy.  I hope they get him in the lineup with Datsyuk and Zetterburg before they retire.  The things he could learn from those two may place him a step above anybody else in the league!

Posted by RhymeTimeWingsDings on 12/02/13 at 12:12 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Apparently he has been rounding out his game quite a bit; all indications are that he’s taken the Red Wings’ suggestions for improvement VERY seriously.

Assuming he adjusts well to the AHL, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up getting some call-ups to the big club next season when he’s with the Griffins. I wouldn’t be shocked if he were an every-game regular in the NHL in 2015-2016.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 12/03/13 at 03:29 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

He was the most studious Wings prospect I’ve met since Louis-Marc Aubry (who probably won’t turn out to be an NHL’er, but not for a lack of effort).

Mantha was TOTALLY floored when he came to the summer camp, and said he needed to train harder. When he came to the prospect tournament, he’d gained a few pounds, and reiterated his statement from the summer that he needed to compete way harder. He struggled during the first part of the prospect tournament, said he was floored by the level of competition, and he got better and better as the games went on, to the point that he was one of the best players in the championship game. He took part in the main camp and knew that was next level stuff, he got in an exhibition game and he was super psyched.

Now he’s come back to the QMJHL—which is admittedly a very high-scoring league to begin with—and he’s leading the league in scoring and has worked his way onto Canada’s WJC team. He’s going to continue learning there in an incredibly high-pressure situation, and he’ll be better for it. He’s also probably going to be traded from Val-d’Or to a contending team at some point, and that will help him as well.

I actually expect him to take a more Tomas Jurco-like path given that the Q really is an up-and-down league in terms of its level of competition, maybe needing to put in 2 or 3 years with the Griffins to really get the pro game down, but when he’s ready for the NHL in terms of both his game and his size and strength (and he can probably stand to play at 220 very healthily as he’s 6’5” and still quite skinny at 204 pounds), he absolutely loves to score goals and he takes direct routes to the net.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/03/13 at 03:48 AM ET

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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.


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