Red Wings: Is Anthony Mantha the Best Player in Detroit?

Is Anthony Mantha currently the best player on the Detroit Red Wings roster?

It’s common for Detroit Red Wings fans to anoint forward Dylan Larkin the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

And I’ll say this article isn’t who should be the captain of the Red Wings, it’s who is the best player in Detroit.

I think that player is Anthony Mantha and you won’t be able to change my mind.

When he returned to the lineup on Feb. 11 against the Buffalo Sabres, there wasn’t any rust. He looked like the best player on the team and had two assists.

After the game he said he wanted to average a point a game the remainder of the season and I thought he was crazy.

Well silly Manzo, points are for Mantha (Trix Cereal reference). Since his return 14 games ago, you guessed it…14 points.

With the season now postponed for the foreseeable future due to increased concerns over COVID-19, it has me reflecting on what very well could be the last game the Red Wings play this season. So here’s me making my case for Mantha as the team’s best player.

There’s no doubt the organization is pushing Larkin to be the vocal leader inside the locker room and as the external face of the franchise. It was good to see him – and some other players – check in during their self-quarantine.

Just because he’s the leader, though, doesn’t mean he’s the best player on the team.

I was all about the selection when the Red Wings took Mantha 20th overall in the 2013 draft out of Val-d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

How could you not? He netted 50 and 57 goals respectively in his last two seasons for the club. That’s offensive firepower that I want in my organization, and general manager Ken Holland made it happen (must give him kudos for this one).

Mantha has 84 goals in what I’ll call 3.5 seasons of NHL hockey under his belt from 2015-2020, topping out at 25 goals a year ago.

If we get a full season of Mantha in Detroit, he’ll show why he’s the best player on the team…if you didn’t believe it already.

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