Detroit Red Wings: Who Will Benefit Most From Jeff Blashill?

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Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Anthony Mantha poses for a photo with team officials after being introduced as the number twenty overall pick to the Detroit Red Wings during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Mantha

One player who could benefit from Jeff Blashill is Anthony Mantha. Mantha may have already begun to benefit from Blashill. After the Red Wings’ senior vice president Jim Devellano called Mantha out for being “Very, very, very disappointing,” earlier this year, Jeff Blashill came to the defense of the former first-round pick.

"“First of all, the expectation level on Anthony was too high, and in part that was his fault. When you have a career like that in juniors, the expectations are too high. I think Anthony still needs to learn to work as hard as you have to work, shift in and shift out, moving his feet, in order to utilize that skill set at the American league level and the NHL level.”"

Mantha played in a total of 78 games for Blashill last year during his first season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. It’s safe to say that Blashill was able to get a good impression and sense of where Anthony is at as a young man beginning his career as a professional hockey player. I’m sure that Jeff will keep a close eye on Anthony Mantha as he continues to learn what it takes to make the jump from juniors into the professional hockey ranks.

I don’t expect Anthony Mantha to directly and/or immediately benefit from Blashill being the head coach of the Red Wings this season. Instead, I think that the time Mantha spent playing under Jeff in the AHL will help him further on down the road into future NHL seasons as Mantha prepares to take the next step in his professional career.

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