Earlier today, the Detroit Red Wings recalled top prospect Anthony Mantha from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League (AHL). Per MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, the former QMJHL standout will make his Red Wings and NHL debut on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
#RedWings said they have no new injuries and Mantha will play tomorrow.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) March 14, 2016
Through 56 games with the Griffins, Mantha sits third on the team in goals scored with 21, only trailing Martin Frk and Eric Tangradi. The six-foot-five power forward has had a terrific second season in Grand Rapids following a “disappointing” first season. At the beginning of last season, Mantha broke his leg in the Red Wings’ prospect tournament and was never able to get his legs under him upon returning.
Now in Detroit, Mantha is expected to take up a top-six role in the lineup, meaning he’ll likely play on either Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg’s wings—quite an honor for an NHL debut. Coach Jeff Blashill could opt to play Dylan Larkin alongside Mantha as well, something the Red Wings had been planning since Larkin’s first training camp.
Mantha’s size would be a welcomed addition to the smaller Red Wings lineup, especially considering the traditional physicality of the Philadelphia Flyers. In his career, Mantha has been able to use his large frame to push around players and has the tendency to drop the gloves on occasion.
Tuesday’s game against the Flyers should give Red Wings fans a glimpse into the future with Larkin, Mantha, Tomas Tatar, and Gustav Nyquist up front, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on the back end, and Petr Mrazek likely in net.
ICYMI: THW’s Colin Fitts interviewed Mantha last night. Check out his article here.
Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.