GIANT MANTHA

According to the website Prospect-Stats.com, Ryan Mantha had 190 shots on goal during 5×5 play for Niagara of the OHL. That’s an enormous total, almost 40 more than his nearest league competitor. He also led in 5×4 shots, with 102. He was an overager (20) so that is a factor in this conversation. That understood, Ryan Mantha is one of the latest in a group of astute defensive acquisitions by Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers.

BROCK OTTEN

  • In 2015/16, Mantha just didn’t look terrific and failed to take that next step forward at both ends. As such, the New York Rangers elected not to sign him (and that appeared to be the right decision).
  • Mantha’s OA season reminded me a lot of Jake Muzzin’s breakout OA year. It’s like the light bulb finally went off and he realized how good he could be because of his size advantage and skill set.
  • Mantha possesses an absolutely lethal point shot; just a booming cannon from the point. And he shot often this year (he led the entire OHL in shots). But he was aggressive in attacking the offensive zone, using his size to barrel down the ice to drive across the opponent’s blueline.
  • It’s clear he really worked on his skating. And defensively, he was much more aggressive in using his size in the corners and in front of the net. His overall agility will never be a major strength, so being able to put himself in the right position and being able to really physically punish guys was an important step forward for him to take.
  • Source

Recommend reading the entire passage, Otten does a wonderful job in giving us an idea about each player (and he has something on every OHL Oiler from last season).

NHL EQUIVALENCIES, DEFENSE 2016-17

Mantha is one year older than Ethan Bear but they arrive in pro hockey at the same time. Bear is the more prominent prospect, but Mantha was a higher draft pick (No. 104 in 2014, Bear No. 124 in 2015). I’m not sure there’s any way to project one or another beyond our own personal bias (Bear is known to us and a year younger, he is most likely to be favored by the fan base).

I think it wise to assume all of Ziyat Paigin, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear and Ryan Mantha spend the entire season in Bakersfield. One of these may well may emerge as an obvious recall from the group but we don’t know who it is and when it’ll happen. Despite appearances and issue framing, Ryan Mantha belongs in the group and has earned three full seasons to show what he can bring at the AHL level. He’ll have to push past the others (plus the veteran recalls) in order to get NHL time. It’s unlikely to happen in 2017-18 but Ryan Mantha is a worthwhile follow this coming season.

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33 Responses to "GIANT MANTHA"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Since our July 1 bulk signings, I’ve been of the mind-set that Mantha may see time in Wichita this year but I definitely could be wrong on that. One more injury to the entire depth chart likely keeps him in Bakersfield in any event.

    I loved his season last year but take it very guarded given he’s an over-ager.

    Not sure this prospect will ever see the NHL but you never know.

    Looking forward to following his progress as I am with all of our prospects, amateur or pro.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Off Topic:

    Flames finally sign Bennet for 2 years @ $1.95M.

    Makes sense but I was hoping that would turn in to a fiasco.

    The rivals to the west should have their franchise center signed imminantly and we’ll all be locked and ready to go for the season shortly.

    Lets do this.

  3. slopitch says:

    I remember my wife telling me her trainers brother was trying out for the Blues. Never heard of him. It was Colton Parayko. Obviously that’s the ultimate upside for Mantha but he had a huge development year last year. If he backs it up with another one, this will look like an astute hire by Chai. The player who wins the race to the NHL will likely be the player with the biggest development year in 17/18. Oilers could use that from several of their prospects.

  4. theDjdj says:

    https://youtu.be/CJSkwqT-5wo for those in need of a little McDavid booster shot. This is just a video of McDavid on offense.

  5. LadiesloveSmid says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Off Topic:

    Flames finally sign Bennet for 2 years @ $1.95M.

    Makes sense but I was hoping that would turn in to a fiasco.

    The rivals to the west should have their franchise center signed imminantly and we’ll all be locked and ready to go for the season shortly.

    Lets do this.

    Not that I think Bennett is particularly good at all, but that is a small contract. Lots of room for Jagr.

    Really too bad.

  6. JDî says:

    I like to say his name in Archie Bunker’s voice.

  7. jtblack says:

    LT; What is the issue framing around Mantha? Him being a 20 yr old last yr? Just curious

    I LOVE this signing. Size and a Booming shot. Good Combo

  8. RexLibris says:

    I typically look at prospects in groups of three of similar age or character and then say one might make it, one will be an AHLer and the third is likely to drop off the map. I generally like to keep it to positions (forwards or defense) and did so with Rieder, Hamilton and Pitlick as well as Marincin, Gernat and Davidson. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it helps me set the bar in a way that limits expectations and give room for eventual surprise if things come out ahead.

    With this group – Bear, Jones, Mantha and Paigin – I’d take the line that I think there might be as many as two NHL players in the bunch (my cutoff is 200+ NHL games played). I’d love to see all four eventually go on to man the bottom four rotation on the big club below Larsson and Klefbom, but I don’t think it would be entirely cynical or, for that matter, even overly optimistic to suggest that there is a chance here that the Oilers could find two serviceable NHL talents amongst this group.

    The caveats being that promise is one thing while development is quite another, and sometimes it takes a very long time and a long list of disappointment before a player finally figures it out (Taylor Chorney is my exhibit A here). That said, I think one of Bear or Jones and one of Mantha or Paigin probably manages to carve out a career of 200 NHL games or more. Given that the Oilers aren’t in need of one of them magically turning into a top-pairing player like Subban or even a McDonagh, that’s keeping things relatively even-keel, I think.

  9. Lowetide says:

    jtblack:
    LT;What is the issue framing around Mantha?Him being a 20 yr old last yr?Just curious

    I LOVE this signing.Size and a Booming shot. Good Combo

    I mean issue framing as all of us (me and you) looking at things with our natural bias. We knew Ethan Bear was an Oilers pick in June of 2015, Mantha signed basically a year later. In terms of age and experience, Mantha should be ahead of Bear. I’ve never written their stories that way, haven’t seen many frame it as Mantha>Bear. Part of that could be sussing out the numbers, observing or betting based on the past, but I do think fans (as a group) have their favorites.

  10. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Not that I think Bennett is particularly good at all, but that is a small contract. Lots of room for Jagr.

    Really too bad.

    I know right… but then I started looking at all the roster payrolls around the league to see how we are comparing. Barring any trades, Calgary still needs to sign three players with only $5.22M. They only have 12 forwards signed, and holy crap is their defense expensive!

    Detroit is in a world of hurt… I knew it was bad, but not “need to trade zetterberg while signing 3 players to $1M or less contracts” bad…

  11. Lewis Grant says:

    Is nobody else concerned that Bakersfield will have four rookie d-men? Don’t rookie d-men generally need to be sheltered in order to develop properly? Shouldn’t each of those be paired with a more experienced d-man? (Like, say, Jordan Oesterle? Oops.)

  12. RexLibris says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: I know right… but then I started looking at all the roster payrolls around the league to see how we are comparing. Barring any trades, Calgary still needs to sign three players with only $5.22M. They only have 12 forwards signed, and holy crap is their defense expensive!

    Detroit is in a world of hurt… I knew it was bad, but not “need to trade zetterberg while signing 3 players to $1M or less contracts” bad…

    Something to keep in mind when looking at CGY’s roster, especially their D, is the pricetag and age on Giordano. He’s going to start to decline and while Hamilton and Brodie are still young and quite good, that D is built for the win-now mode yet they have a glaring question mark at goal that is, at best, only a short-term solution and the forward group is a dog’s breakfast with no C depth.

    They’ve patched the holes in the hull by scrapping the propeller.

  13. dustrock says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Is nobody else concerned that Bakersfield will have four rookie d-men?Don’t rookie d-men generally need to be sheltered in order to develop properly?Shouldn’t each of those be paired with a more experienced d-man?(Like, say, Jordan Oesterle?Oops.)

    If we get too worried about prospects in the AHL, I dunno, man.

    They need minutes more than anything else.

  14. JDî says:

    Lewis Grant,

    Expect a rocky start. But the Condors need a roster reset, and this might just be it. Fayne will provide all the leadership that $3.6M can buy.

  15. JDî says:

    Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
    ·
    7h
    Replying to @TSNBobMcKenzie
    I did hear Slepyshev is a little banged up. EDM RW a fluid situation with Strome, Cagguila, Slepyshev, Puljujarvi and Kassian.

    Well that sucks.

  16. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Lewis Grant,

    I kind of think that there will be enough veteran cover to help offset any green hands. Paigin is a borderline rookie, what with all that KHL experience, so the four rookies are more like 3.5, no?

    On one hand, there’s:
    – Stanton
    – Lowe
    – Simpson
    – Fayne
    – Betker (not a vet, but not a raw pro by any means)

    to offer veteran cover, so more than enough to have one vet and one rookie per pairing.

    And realistically, isn’t the minors the place to play away from the spotlight and scrutiny, free to make mistakes in the name of growth? Hopefully the coaches don’t get too focused on winning games at the expense of development.

  17. stush18 says:

    Dunno I feel it’s been reported, but NHL coaches will lose their timeouts if they lose and offside challenge this year.

    That’s great imo. There needed to be repercussions, it’s was being abused and slowing down the game

  18. stush18 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Lewis Grant,

    I kind of think that there will be enough veteran cover to help offset any green hands.Paigin is a borderline rookie, what with all that KHL experience, so the four rookies are more like 3.5, no?

    On one hand, there’s:
    – Stanton
    – Lowe
    – Simpson
    – Fayne
    – Betker (not a vet, but not a raw pro by any means)

    to offer veteran cover, so more than enough to have one vet and one rookie per pairing.

    And realistically, isn’t the minors the place to play away from the spotlight and scrutiny, free to make mistakes in the name of growth?Hopefully the coaches don’t get too focused on winning games at the expense of development.

    I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have signed Lowe. Or else I’m looking to deal one of the defenders early in the season.

    There’s one too many vet dmen for my liking. Especially if franson is signed.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Is nobody else concerned that Bakersfield will have four rookie d-men?Don’t rookie d-men generally need to be sheltered in order to develop properly?Shouldn’t each of those be paired with a more experienced d-man?(Like, say, Jordan Oesterle?Oops.)

    They will have Fayne, Stanton, Lowe and one of Auvitu or Simpson.

    Plenty of experience for the Condors.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    JDî:
    Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
    ·
    7h
    Replying to @TSNBobMcKenzie
    I did hear Slepyshev is a little banged up. EDM RW a fluid situation with Strome, Cagguila, Slepyshev, Puljujarvi and Kassian.

    Well that sucks.

    This was discussed a bit in the morning blog.

    That is the only information that anyone has heard about it.

    To me, “banged up” a good month prior to the first game doesn’t seem like a big deal. If he’s not good to go in a month, then, to me, he’s more than “banged up”.

    It would suck if he misses any material portion of camp though.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    Dunno I feel it’s been reported, but NHL coaches will lose their timeouts if they lose and offside challenge this year.

    That’s great imo. There needed to be repercussions, it’s was being abused and slowing down the game

    Yes, this was reported by Friedman.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18: I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have signed Lowe. Or else I’m looking to deal one of the defenders early in the season.

    There’s one too many vet dmen for my liking. Especially if franson is signed.

    Lowetide showed me a few weeks or a month ago that NHL teams generally use 11-15 d-men in a season. We were fairly healthy last year and still used 11 d-men. Keegan Lowe was a solid depth signing. He will be a great mentor down in Bakersfield and does have NHL experience if/once we get that far down the depth chart. An extra player to cover for guys like Jones.

    We could be a risk of forcing a guy like Jones in to the NHL lineup for a cup of coffee, not based on merit but based on injury fill-in need.

  23. Gerta Rauss says:

    Clarification of the rule change re: offside challenge

    The team requesting the challenge will be assessed a 2 minute penalty if the challenge is unsuccessful

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/new-rule-adds-pressure-on-nhl-coaches-asking-for-offside-challenge/ar-AArpqEG?li=AAggNb9&ocid=mailsignout

  24. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: This was discussed a bit in the morning blog.

    That is the only information that anyone has heard about it.

    To me, “banged up” a good month prior to the first game doesn’t seem like a big deal.If he’s not good to go in a month, then, to me, he’s more than “banged up”.

    It would suck if he misses any material portion of camp though.

    Material has been your favourite word lately.

  25. Lloyd B. says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Clarification of the rule change re: offside challenge

    The team requesting the challenge will be assessed a 2 minute penaltyif the challenge is unsuccessful

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/new-rule-adds-pressure-on-nhl-coaches-asking-for-offside-challenge/ar-AArpqEG?li=AAggNb9&ocid=mailsignout

    Pfft. It wont matter a rats ass if it is reviewed in HD ultra slow motion. it will still stop the flow of the game to see if a skate blade was over the line.

    Wont change a damn thing.

  26. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Lowetide showed me a few weeks or a month ago that NHL teams generally use 11-15 d-men in a season.We were fairly healthy last year and still used 11 d-men. Keegan Lowe was a solid depth signing.He will be a great mentor down in Bakersfield and does have NHL experience if/once we get that far down the depth chart.An extra player to cover for guys like Jones.

    We could be a risk of forcing a guy like Jones in to the NHL lineup for a cup of coffee, not based on merit but based on injury fill-in need.

    Sure. By the time we get to 15 it’s either for a game or two or the seasons foment down the shitter anyways and I’d like to see the young guys get some reps.

    IF Franson signs, we’re looking at

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Russell-franson
    Nurse-benning
    Sekera
    Auvitu-gryba

    Stanton-Lowe
    Simpson-fayne
    Better-paigan
    Jones-bear
    Mantha

    So hindsight is 20/20, but I can’t see the kids keeping a regular shift. That’s a fail to me

  27. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, this was reported by Friedman.

    Well obviously, I didn’t break the news lol

  28. OmJo says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Clarification of the rule change re: offside challenge

    The team requesting the challenge will be assessed a 2 minute penalty if the challenge is unsuccessful

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/new-rule-adds-pressure-on-nhl-coaches-asking-for-offside-challenge/ar-AArpqEG?li=AAggNb9&ocid=mailsignout

    Somewhere, Zach Kassian is celebrating this new rule.

  29. Lowetide says:

    stush18: Well obviously, I didn’t break the news lol

    I’ve been giggling over this for 10 minutes. I thank you.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Material has been your favourite word lately.

    It is a material qualifier.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18: Sure. By the time we get to 15 it’s either for a game or two or the seasons foment down the shitter anyways and I’d like to see the young guys get some reps.

    IF Franson signs, we’re looking at

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Russell-franson
    Nurse-benning
    Sekera
    Auvitu-gryba

    Stanton-Lowe
    Simpson-fayne
    Better-paigan
    Jones-bear
    Mantha

    So hindsight is 20/20, but I can’t see the kids keeping a regular shift. That’s a fail to me

    I switch Benning and Franson but that’s not really the point of this conversation.

    Firstly, as of today, we don’t have Franson so one of Jones or Bear are already in the lineup.

    Secondly, that lineup presupposes zero additional injuries and there is pretty much zero chance of that happening.

    Thirdly, I think Betker could/should be destined for Wichita – potentially Mantha as well.

    Fourthly, there is a chance Simpson doesn’t even make it through waivers (although that doesn’t seem likely).

    I’m confident there will be playing time for all the material d-men.

  32. geowal says:

    OriginalPouzar: I switch Benning and Franson but that’s not really the point of this conversation.

    Firstly, as of today, we don’t have Franson so one of Jones or Bear are already in the lineup.

    Secondly, that lineup presupposes zero additional injuries and there is pretty much zero chance of that happening.

    Thirdly, I think Betker could/should be destined for Wichita – potentially Mantha as well.

    Fourthly, there is a chance Simpson doesn’t even make it through waivers (although that doesn’t seem likely).

    I’m confident there will be playing time for all the material d-men.

    I’m starting to wonder about sending the rookie D-men to Witchita as a group for a month or so to get used to playing together and get a ton of ice time. Once they force the issue, which wouldn’t be super long I think, begin making room in Bakersfield. It’d be a way to really get their pro careers jump-started early. Material idea? (Did I do it right?)

  33. Pretendergast says:

    ASSETS:
    Packed a big shot from the point–one of the best in the game. Had natural leadership qualities and would protect his teammates. Was adept at clearing the front of the net. Was also a good fighter.
    FLAWS:
    Could get beat one on one, due to questionable lateral skating and overall mobility. Could at times cough up the puck when rushing up ice. Was quite injury-prone and also took bad penalties.
    CAREER POTENTIAL:
    Big and big-shooting defenseman, when healthy.

    Aside from injury prone, this would somewhat describe our boy Mantha yes?

    That report is Sheldon Souray, that would be a damn good upside i’d say.

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