There was a lot of Prospect news to cover this week, and if you missed part 1 you can catch up here. Today we've got the QMJHL, College, and European prospects to talk about. Here...We....Go!
Here's a reminder of the prospects of interest that aren't currently with the Grand Rapids Griffins
|PROSPECT NAME||POS||HT||WT||DRAFTED||DOB||POB||Shoots||2013-2014 Team (League)|
|AndreasAthanasiou||C/LW||6.00||179||DET-12 (4-110)||8/6/1994||London Ont||L||Barrie Colts (OHL)|
|Tyler Bertuzzi||LW||6.00||178||DET-13 (2-58)||2/24/1995||Sudbury Ont||L||Guelph Storm (OHL)|
|Zach Nastasiuk||C/RW||6.01||190||DET-13 (2-48)||3/30/1995||Barre ONT||R||Owen Sound Attack (OHL)|
|Jake Paterson||G||6.02||183||DET-12 (3-80)||5/13/1994||Mississauga ONT||L||Saginaw Spirit (OHL)|
|Marc McNulty||D||6.06||185||DET-13 (6-169)||4/5/1995||Medicine Hat ALB||L||Prince George Cougars (WHL)|
|MitchellWheaton||D||6.05||230||DET-13 (5-139)||2/6/1995||Sherwood Park ALB||L||Kelowna Rockets (WHL)|
|Philippe Hudon||RW||6.00||190||DET-11 (5-145)||4/15/1993||Montreal PQ||R||Victoriaville Tigres(QMJHL)|
|Anthony Mantha||LW||6.04||190||DET-13 (1-20)||9/16/1994||Longueiul PQ||L||Les Foreurs de Val-d’Or(QMJHL)|
|MattiasBäckman||D||6.02||170||DET-11 ( 5-145)||10/3/1992||Linköping SWE||L||Linköping (SHL)|
|MattiasJanmark||C/LW||6.01||189||DET-13 (3-79)||12/8/1992||Stockholm SWE||L||A.I.K. (SHL)|
|Rasmus Bodin||C/LW||6.06||207||DET-12 (7-200)||5/5/1994||SWE||L||Linköping HC (J20Superelit)|
|Hampus Melèn||RW||6.02||165||DET-13 (7-199)||2/28/1995||Karlskrona SWE||L||Tingsryds AIF (J20Superelite)|
|David Pope||LW||6.02||187||DET-13 (4-109)||9/27/1994||Edmonton ALB||L||West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL)|
|James DeHaas||D||6.02||197||DET-12 (6-170)||5/5/1994||Mississauga ONT||L||Clarkson University (NCAA)|
|Ben Marshall||D||5.09||160||DET-10 (7-201)||8/30/1992||St. Paul MN||L||University of Minnesota (NCAA)|
|Mike McKee||D||6.04||230||DET-12 (4-140)||8/17/1993||Newmarket ONT||L||Western Michigan University (NCHC)
Victoriaville Tigres: Philippe Hudon
|71||Philippe Hudon||F||Victoriaville Tigres||QMJHL||11||5||2||7||-2||13|
Friday, October 11th: Hudon had 1 hit in a 3-0 win. Box Score
Sunday, October 20th: Hudon had 2 goals, 4 shots on goal, 2 PIM, and 2 hits in an 8-6 loss. Box Score
Les Foreurs de Val-d'Or:Anthony Mantha
|8||Anthony Mantha||F||Val d'Or Foreurs||QMJHL||12||18||15||33||+7||16|
Saturday, October 12th: Mantha had 3 goals, 2 assists, 8 shots on goal, 2 PIM, was a +4, and the 1st star of the game in a 6-5 win. Box Score
Thursday, October 17th: Mantha had no goals or assists in this game (what a bum!), was a -2, and had 2 hits in a 7-1 loss. Box Score
Friday, October 18th: Mantha had 1 assist, 1 shot on goal, 6 PIM, and was a -3 in a 5-2 loss. Box Score
Sunday, October 20th: Mantha had 2 goals, 2 assists, 5 shots on goal, 5 hits, and was a +2 and 1st star of the game in a 7-3 win. Video highlights (via the Eagles- and they apparently thought the National Anthem was highlight worthy) Box Score
Mantha was named to the QMJHL three stars of the week (again) for the week of Oct 7-13.
With 10 points from 5 goals and 5 assists in 2 games, and a +/- of +7, the Val-d'Or Foreurs forward, Anthony Mantha, is the first star of the week in the QMJHL. He had 2 consecutive games of 5 points and was named the first star for both games. Friday in a 6-4 win against the Drummondville Voltigeurs, he scored 2 goals and added 3 helpers. Saturday, against the Sherbrooke Phoenix, he scored 3 more goals while adding 2 assists. Mantha had 11 his team's 44 shots on goal, which ended with a 6-5 win in overtime. As the Foreurs extended the number of consecutive wins to 5 this weekend, their star forward climbed to first in League scoring, with 28 points, including 16 goals in 9 games so far in the 2013-14 season.
He was also named the CHL player of the week for the week ending Oct 13th.
There's also a youtube interview with Mantha after being named CHL player of the week where he talks about his career so far, what he's doing, and what he learned from his time in the Red Wings camps.
The Drillers posted a very short blurb about him as well.
Also, there have been talks that Mantha could be traded from the Drills. It's not of supreme consequences to us, but if he is traded, it will be interesting to see if he keeps up his pace, and see if a change in team and teammates would impact him much.
Mantha is taking the league by storm and gaining well earned accolades from pretty much everywhere. Having 33 points (15 goals) in only 12 games is lights out good. With his outstanding performance so far, there's lots of talk about what we can expect from him in the AHL, and even talk about some people wanting him to jump right to the NHL, possibly next year. What Mantha is doing right now is fantastically impressive, however expecting the same level of performance when he jumps to the AHL is unrealistic and sets us up for a lot of disappointment and crushed expectation; nevermind the danger of forming serious NHL expectations from him right now.
Behind The Net explored the difficulty level discrepancy between different leagues and this article is good reference material.
There is a big difference between the skill and competition level in the QMJHL and the AHL. If Mantha were in Grand Rapids right now, he would not be nearly this dominant, forget the NHL. It's tricky to know what to realistically expect from a player when they make the transition from juniors the AHL, because there are so many factors that come in to play. I've used Tomas Jurco before as a good example of a player having to go through some serious growth and struggles to to be successful at the AHL level. In Jurco's last season in the Q, he had 68 points in 48 regular season games, and 29 points in 16 playoff games. He's an incredibly skilled player, but the transition was difficult for him. He was awful the fist half of the season, and was even scratched for a couple of games. I'm not saying that's what would happen to Mantha, but it very well could. In the Q, there's much more focus on offense and scoring, but many of the players don't become "complete" players in that league. When Mantha does come to Grand Rapids (presumable next year) he's going to have to learn not only how to be offensive in the tougher competition, but how to be defensively sound as well.
I fully expect him to go through some very difficult growing pains on his way to the NHL, and I don't expect him to put up the mind blowing offensive numbers he is now. When he played in Prospect Tournament, he looked lost for the first couple of games, but made progress throughout the tournament, but he still has a lot to learn; and that's what the AHL is for.
Daren McCarty put up 127 points in 65 games in his final year in the OHL, now obviously Mantha is a far different player than McCarty, but the danger of expecting too much from a player, too soon, can lead to a pretty big let down. Last year Martin Frk had 84 points in 56 regular season games and 33 points in 17 playoff games, and he's only made it into 2 Griffins games so far and hasn't done anything. He's another very good player who is experiencing a very tough transition to the pro level.
I'm impressed with Mantha, but I've very hesitant to set my expectations very high for him next year in the AHL, because I've seen what some other very skilled, very good players have gone through, and are going through while making the transition.
The Griffins posted an article on Tomas Jurco, and in it he provides a very interesting look into what he went through making the jump to the pro level. I highly recommend reading it. Here are a couple highlights...
He came to Grand Rapids last season, eager to shed the image of being a viral video sensation. But he struggled early, was a healthy scratch twice, and doubters began to question his ability.
"When I had my struggles during the beginning, I know some people were saying ‘he's just a YouTube guy' and that made me mad," he said. "I knew I had to prove I could be a good hockey player."
Sitting in the stands when he was healthy only stoked his competitive fires.
"It was really frustrating for me because I'm not the type of guy who says, 'I'm young, I don't have to play.' I always want to play and I always want to be the best, even if I'm playing on the best team," Jurco said. "So the first few months were really hard."
Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill wasn't completely surprised.
"Jurco came in a really confident player but probably didn't know how to play to be successful in pro hockey - he had to learn it," Blashill said. "In the process, his confidence got chipped away a bit. As you're struggling, that happens."
A few meetings with Blashill gave Jurco some direction. "We talked a lot," Jurco said. "Blash is a great coach. He tells you what you have to improve to play for him. It's good for players to know exactly what they need to do better."Blashill is confident that Jurco is up for the task.
"He's got skills that other guys don't have," Blashill said. "He's got a chance to be a top-six forward in the NHL, and very few guys get that opportunity. What he has to do now is take his play and turn it into production on a consistent basis without sacrificing anything from his defense or team game. That's the challenge of learning to be a go-to guy.
I honestly expect Mantha to go through a very similar process as Jurco. Before he's ready for the NHL, he will have to learn how to not only score goals against the much tougher competition, but also how to be a player who's defensively trustworthy, and who can show that he can be trusted on the ice in most situations. I'm not sure exactly how many minutes a game he's playing (though I would think it's a lot), not if he plays on the PK, or the ratio of PP to even strength ice time. It doesn't look like the CHL keeps makes that information public, so I'm still missing some context for what situations he's playing in.
Mantha in the NHL right now would be a disaster. Very possibly a dumpster fire. He's doing what he is right now, against boys, in a league that's far inferior to even the AHL in defense, size, and strength. I still think Mantha has some great potential, but when he comes to Grand Rapids if he sucks for a while, his production drops way off, and he looks like he's in way over his head, I'm not going to worry, because that's kind of what I expect. He may prove me wrong and that would be awesome, but I still think he'll have some very difficult growing pains to go through before he's ready for the NHL.
Clarkson University (NCAA): James DeHaas
|2||James DeHaas||D||Clarkson Univ.||NCAA||6||1||0||1||+1||4||11||1|
Interview with DeHaas before the season began. Nothing incredibly insightful, but he talks about his style of play, and a little bit about the Red Wings camps.
University of Minnesota (NCAA): Ben Marshall
|10||Ben Marshall||D||Univ. of Minnesota||NCAA||4||1||2||3||0||2||11|
Western Michigan University (NCHC): Mike McKee
|2||Mike McKee||D||Western Michigan Univ.||NCHC||4||0||0||0||0||21||0||1|
Friday, October 11th: McKee played but didn't get on the stat sheet in a 4-0 loss. Broncos Recap (with video highlights)
Linköping (SHL): Mattias Bäckman
A.I.K. (SHL): Mattias Janmark
Janmark is 2nd in goals and 5th in points in the SHL, and still leads all forwards in the league in time on ice/game. Janmark continues to be a very impressive player. Janmark's team is having a very rough season and struggling a lot, and they are relying a TON on Janmark. He continues to impress.
Here's a compilation video of some Janmark highlighs from his first two seasons in the SHL.
Expressen article on the struggles of A.I.K. It sounds like Janmark is not only the leader on the the score sheet, and on the ice, but also off the ice.
Tingsryds AIF (J20 Superelit- Sweden): Hampus Melèn
|69||Hampus Melèn||RW||Tingsryds AIF||J20 Superelit||11||0||5||5||-6||14||17||0||34.62|
Saturday, October 12th: Mèlen played but did not show up on the stat sheet.
Wednesday, October 16th: Mèlen did not play
Saturday, October 19th: Mèlen did not play
Sunday, October 20th: Mèlen did not play
Linköping HC (J20 Superelit- Sweden): Rasmus Bodin
|15||Rasmus Bodin||D||Linköpings HC||J20 Superelit||10||0||1||1||-3||2||1||0|
12th: Bodin played but did not show up on the stat sheet in a 5-4 loss.
13th: Bodin had 1 assist and was a +1 in a 5-3 win. Recap
19th: Bodin played but did not show up on the stat sheet in a 5-3 win.
20th: Bodin played but did not show up on the stat sheet in a 4-2 win.
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