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BLOG: Mantha eager to show he can play

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

As Ryan Mantha heads into his first rookie camp with the Oilers organization, he's chomping at the bit to get on the ice.

"I just want to show them I can play," said Mantha, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the club as a free agent on March 1. "I think that's something I can take care of and that's all I can worry about: just playing my game."

Mantha enjoyed a successful three-year run with the Niagara IceDogs, compiling 58 points in 2016-17. He then played two games in the American Hockey League with the Bakersfield Condors at the end of the season. That gave him a taste of a higher level of hockey.

"I know what to expect coming into this year now," said Mantha. "It's a lot different than junior hockey, so having that perspective of what I need to work on and get better at was huge for me going into the summer."

Mantha is a big body, listed at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. He also has a great shot, but the simple game is the most effective game for the blueliner.

"I think it's just being simple, making a good first pass, following the play up and having a good gap," said Mantha. "That's something for me, as a defenceman, is huge and with me being a bigger guy."

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