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Mantha expects to make pro debut Friday

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings

Anthony Mantha, who was injured in the NHL Prospects Tournament, missed eight weeks with a fractured right tibia. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Red Wings on Wednesday assigned right wing Anthony Mantha to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Detroit’s first choice in the 2013 NHL draft, Mantha was previously on injured reserve with the Red Wings after fracturing his tibia during September’s NHL Prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

Mantha is expected to make his professional debut on Friday, when the Griffins host the Texas Stars at Van Andel Arena. As the 20th overall draft selection in 2013, Mantha will become the second-highest Detroit pick to play in Grand Rapids, behind only defenseman Jakub Kindl (19th overall in 2005).

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Mantha spent the last three seasons with the QMJHL’s Val-d’Or Foreurs, where he amassed 260 points in 187 games. Last season, Mantha capped off his junior career with 120 points in 57 regular-season games for Val-d’Or, leading the league in goals and points.

Following the regular season, the Longueuil, Quebec, native helped the Foreurs to the franchise’s third President’s Cup, picking up 38 points and 52 penalty minutes in 24 playoff games and leading all playoff scorers in both goals and PIM. Mantha’s team advanced to the semifinal round of the 2014 Memorial Cup tournament before falling 4-3 in triple overtime to the eventual tournament champion Edmonton Oil Kings.

For his 2013-14 accomplishments, Mantha was named to the QMJHL’s First All-Star Team, earned the Michel Brière Memorial Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player and was named the CHL Player of the Year. The 20-year-old also represented Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, where he paced the team in scoring with 11 points in seven games and was named to the WJC All-Star Team after leading Canada to a fourth-place finish.

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