My Rick Nash comparison was a loose powerforward association, don't take it too literally. But yeah he was supposed to be our next 1st line powerforward. Overhyped or not he's already crapping the bed in that department.
Mantha's gone from "He's gonna make the team his first year as a pro and be our future top line winger" to "Well he can still probably contribute something I think" and you people are ok with that. It's pathetic and embarrassing.
Doesn't use his size, doesn't back check, and only about half his scoring translated to the minors. But yeah, I'm sure he'll be the next Rick Nash.
Mantha's 2014-15 season tells us nothing that we didn't already know about him. We drafted him with the understanding that he was going to be a project, that his first year as a pro would probably be spent in Grand Rapids and wouldn't necessarily be anything to write home about. In major junior, he was a big fish in a small pond; he didn't have to play a strong two-way game, he didn't have to battle against grown men, he didn't have to keep his feet moving at all times, the pace was nothing like pro hockey, and QMJHL goaltending is notoriously awful. And in terms of physical fitness and conditioning...if a teenager is going to play in the AHL, he has to put in a lot of extra time at the gym. (Even someone as fit and fleet of foot as Larkin has to bulk up and condition his body to withstand the rigors of the pro game and, in time, the murderous marathon that is the NHL schedule.) Mantha had all this to contend with - and then he broke his leg. Even before he broke his leg, I wasn't expecting greatness from him this season. He's got a long, long way to go before he becomes a first-line winger. I believe he'll get there, but it's just going to take a while.
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