Detroit Red Wings Editorials: Hold onto Anthony Mantha

With the 2014-2015 season behind us, some Detroit Red Wings players had years to remember and others had years to forget. Not only are those players wearing the Winged Wheel, but there are others in Grand Rapids. One of those players had to have been Anthony Mantha.

Coming off a hot Junior Hockey career, Mantha played for Val-d’or Foreurs in the QMJHL for the 2013-2014 season. He played some of his best hockey he ever played, scoring 57 goals, racking up 63 assists, and totaled 120 points in just 57 games.

Numbers such as these, are absolutely remarkable. The fact that the Wings scooped him up in the first round of the 2013 draft, 20th overall, brought a smile to almost every fan’s face.

But the gains were halted, it was a trying season for the young player. Mantha only ended up with 15 goals, 18 assists, and totaled at 33 points for the whole season. With hopes and expectations crushed, it seemed as if the world came to an end for Mantha when Red Wings senior vice president, Jimmy Devellano, announced to the media that the Wings organization was “very, very, very disappointed” in the performance of the once known sniper. Insinuated was that Mantha was no longer “untouchable.”

Unfortunately there is nothing else to do but to look forward and move on. Before this years training camp, Mantha stated that it “wasn’t easy.” hearing those comments from Devellano. But Mantha also reported that it wasn’t easy coming off an amazing season like he did back in Val-d’or and then struggling to regain form after a broken leg set him on the sidelines early in the season. But his intentions are to get stronger, and only look forward to improve and stay in Detroit where he so badly wants to play. Mentality such as this is key to moving forward and pursuing what we all want him to do and that is thrive.

With training camp over, it seems like Mantha used this adversity to prove Holland and Devellano wrong. After being asked who was the best at camp, Kenny noted a few players including Mantha. Said Holland:

“When you scored as many goals as he did. Every time you go up a level, goals are harder to score. For most young players, they have to go through process. Mantha had a good week; he competed harder. He’s learning it.”

It seems as if the Wings are starting to regain a little bit of confidence in Mantha, and don’t necessarily seem interested in trading him anytime soon. With this kid being as good as he is, it wouldn’t be the smartest decision to get rid of this 6’4 sniper. Just because one season wasn’t necessarily the best, the only thing that matters is the following season we are about to enter. Last year was his first year in the pros. The kinks look worked out, and nerves should be less. Holland’s glowing endorsement is another positive sign.

This next season will be a big one for Mantha and to stay off “thin ice,” he’ll need to maintain that intensity he showed this past week. But for now, he is very young, and is still trying to find his feet. No worries should be shown just yet. The kid has talent, and a lot of it. Goal scoring is few and far between here in Detroit and we need all the goal scorers we can get.