Forward Anthony Mantha of the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is proving to be quite the offensive force to open the 2012-13 season.
The 18-year-old connected for his third hat trick of the year -- scoring four goals and one assist -- in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday to move into a tie with Rouyn-Noranda's Jean-Sebastien Dea for the league scoring lead with 28 points. Mantha, who is regarded as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list from the QMJHL, has 15 goals and 13 assists for the season.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound wing, who missed the cut to be eligible for last summer's NHL Draft by one day, is riding a nine-game point-scoring streak during which he's produced 14 goals and eight assists. Mantha scored 2:04 into OT on Wednesday to give Val-d'Or the triumph.
"He's got size, hands, and can read plays well," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Bordeleau told NHL.com.
After hitting for one goal and five assists in four games in September, Mantha has really come on in October. Last season, he struck for 22 goals and 51 points and had a minus-11 rating in 63 games. He boasts a plus-13 rating this season through 14 contests.
Mantha was selected in the fifth round (No. 76) by Val-d'Or during the 2010 QMJHL entry draft.
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