Monthly Archives: June 2013

Wings turn to Sweden in third round with selection of Mattias Janmark-nylen

Mattias Janmark-nylen was taken by the Wings with their third round pick, 79th overall.

Janmark-nylen, who played for AIK in the Swedish Elite League, is a left-handed center, who’s 6-1 and 189 pounds.

He finished ranked 98th by NHL Central scouting.

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Wings take Tyler Bertuzzi, whose uncle is Todd Bertuzzi, with pick from San Jose in second round

The Wings took left wing Tyler Bertuzzi, from Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League, with the 58th overall pick in the second round.

Detroit got the pick in a trade with San Jose earlier in the round.

Bertuzzi, whose uncle is Detroit’s Todd Bertuzzi, finished ranked 207th by NHL Central Scouting.

He had 13 goals and nine assists in 43 games last season.

Mantha confident Wings made right pick: “I’ll show everyone, every team, and the Red Wings that they did not take the wrong guy.”

It’s always good when a plan works out.

With three names remaining on their draft board that they’d like to select, the Detroit Red Wings traded down two spots and got the guy that topped that list in the first place.

With the 20th selection in the NHL Entry Draft, the Wings took big left winger Anthony Mantha, Sunday in New Jersey.

“We had it narrowed down to three names, would have been ecstatic with any of the three names we had, and as soon as we got to that point we knew we were going to get one of them, so it was a no-brainer really for us,” said Joe McDonnell, the team’s director of amateur scouting. “And then we ended up getting the guy we really wanted in the end.”

The Wings dealt the 18th pick to San Jose for the 20th pick and the 58th.

“He was a guy we had targeted a lot higher so we lucked out on that for sure,” McDonnell said. “Obviously, it’s going to be a few years from now, but we’re real excited to get him where we picked him.”

Mantha, who grew up a Montreal fan, is going to do whatever it takes to get in a Wings jersey as soon as possible.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to be there, or not I’ll be back in the junior level, bring my game back to 100 percent and just be ready for the next year, for sure,” said Mantha, who patterns his game after Eric Staal. “I’ll show everyone, every team, and the Red Wings that they did not take the wrong guy.

“My approach is really to make the big team next year, if not, in the next two years,” Mantha continued. “I will show them everything that I can to be there without having to go to the minors.”

McDonnell said Mantha, who has two years of junior eligibility remaining, will return to juniors next season and will turn pro the following year.

“Most kids think that,” McDonnell said when told Mantha had aspirations of making the Wings out of training camp. “They might not say it, but most kids think it. They think ‘I’ve got a real chance to make an NHL team,’ and that should be their goal. They have to come in with lofty expectations. Deep down they probably know it’s going to be tough but it’s good to say that.

“He has to bulk up for sure,” McDonnell continued. “Like all these kids that are going, there’s not many that are real men yet. It’s a process for them. He’s on the skinny side right now but we’ll see his work ethic. He’ll get bigger eventually.”

The left winger, who’s 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, had 50 goals and 39 assists in 67 games last season with the Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior League. He was also a plus-21.

He’s the only 50-goal scorer in draft.

“He’s just one of those guys that seem to find a way to hit the net, find a way to sneak to the goalies,” McDonnell said. “His accuracy is excellent.”

Mantha, who helped lead Team Canada to capture a bronze medal at the 2012 Under-18 World Championship, recorded five hat tricks last season and was named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team.

“I think it’s really the precision that I put into my shot,” Mantha said when asked what makes his shot so good. “It’s not necessarily the force that you put, but more of the precision.”

Mantha looks forward to help continue the Wings’ playoff streak, which stands at 22 years in a row, down the road.

“If we can continue that with me in the lineup in the next years I’ll be willing to go there right away and performing to help them out even more.”

It’s the fourth straight year the Wings have taken a forward with their top pick – Martin Frk (2012), Tomas Jurco (2011) and Riley Sheahan (2010).

“It’s really being prepared for the whole summer and my confidence level is quite high so I’m just going to go into camp and try to make place as soon as I can,” Mantha said.

Mantha is the grandson of four-time Stanley Cup champion Andre Pronovost, who played 556 games for Montreal, Boston, Detroit and Minnesota between the 1956-57 and 1967-68 seasons.

“It’s really an honor,” Mantha said when asked if it was surreal to wear the jersey his grandfather wore. “Words really can’t come, but it’s just being there and showing them what I’m able to do. It’s just something that’s great for me.”

Mantha will participate in the Wings’ development camp in Traverse City July 10-15.

Forward Zach Nastasiuk taken by Wings with first of two second round picks

With the Wings first of two picks in the second round they took Zach Nastasiuk, who played last season with Owen Sound in the Ontario Hockey League.

Nastasiuk, who’s 6-1, 190 pounds, had 20 goals and 20 assists last season in 62 games and was a plus-21.

Here are some tidbits on Nastasiuk from NHL.com.

• In 2012-13, Nastasiuk ranked fourth on the Attack with 20 goals (20-20–40) and fifth with a plus-21 rating in 62 games. As a 16-year-old Ontario Hockey League rookie in 2011-12, he played in all 68 games, recording 19 points (11-8–19).

• A member of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship, he recorded four points (2-2–4) in seven games.

• Nastasiuk comes from an athletic family: his father, Paul, won the 1991 Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and holds the league record for most special team tackles in a playoff game (5); his mother, Sue, played basketball at Laurier University; and his older sister, Samantha, plays for the Western Mustangs women’s hockey team.

NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards: “He does something to contribute to win every shift. He’s an excellent penalty killer and uses his long reach very well, is smart in his ability to be in the right place. Earlier in the year, I would have called him a puck chaser, but he played with purpose and made a big jump over the second half of the season. I think he could end up becoming a big pro.”

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Wings select only 50-goal scorer in draft in Anthony Mantha

The Detroit Red Wings have selected Anthony Mantha of the Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior League.

The left winger is 6-4, 190 pounds and had 50 goals and 39 assists in 67 games last season and was also a plus-21.

He’s the only 50-goal scorer in draft.

Here are some bullet points on Mantha from NHL.com:

• In 2012-13, he recorded five hat tricks, posted one four-goal performance and was named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team.

• He led the Foreurs in scoring with 12 points (5-7–12) in nine games during the 2013 playoffs — Val-d’Or lost to Blainsville-Boisbrand in the second round.

• Mantha helped Team Canada capture a bronze medal at the 2012 Under-18 World Championship, scoring one goal in seven games.

• His grandfather is four-time Stanley Cup champion Andre Pronovost — he played 556 games for Montreal, Boston, Detroit and Minnesota between the 1956-57 and 1967-68 seasons.

From TSN Scout Craig Button: Anthony is a very gifted scorer. “Excellent hands and he is able to handle the puck in traffic and in tight spots and get his shot to the net in a manner that makes it difficult for goaltenders. Can attack in multiple ways, skating and shooting in stride, in traffic around the net and in a ‘post-up’ position. He has goal scoring instincts and is very quick to recognize them and take advantage. Gets himself open at the right times and is a hard player to keep in check. He is smart and recognizes where the opportunities may present themselves and is capable of making plays which allows him to impact the game in multiple ways from an offensive standpoint. He has continually progressed and he is the type of player who can make a significant offensive contribution at the NHL level.”

NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau: “He’s a big kid with a lot of skill. He has everything you need to succeed — he can skate, he’s smart, he reads the play, he has everything. He might need to work on his defensive game, but he can be taught that. You can’t teach talent like he has, or hands like he has.”

Val-d’Or head coach Mario Durocher: “He’s a very intelligent kid. It’s great talking hockey with him. He’s always asking the right questions in practice and even pointing things out that we might have missed sometimes.”

Wings add second round pick from Sharks for 18th spot; Detroit now picks 20th in first round

Detroit trades 18th pick in San Jose for picks No. 20 and No. 58.

That gives the Wings two picks in the second round, also selecting 48th.

Moving down in the draft is nothing new for the Wings.

Wings meet with Lecavalier; rumored to be looking for $5 million a season

The Wings did get a face-to-face meeting with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Vincent Lecavalier on Sunday.

“They’re talking to teams, we talked to him,” confirmed Wings general manager Ken Holland, who said the meeting lasted between 30 and 40 minutes at the team hotel. “I don’t know what their process is. They reached out to say Vinny was going to be in (New York) this weekend and was going to meet as many teams that had interest to meet him.”

Lecavalier was bought out by Tampa Bay on Thursday.

“He has to make some decisions personally, what’s on his priority list,” Holland said. “I don’t know the process. They asked if we wanted to meet. We said, ‘Yeah.’”

It’s rumored Lecavalier is looking for a five-year deal worth around $5 million a season.

There is some concern of the pace of Lecavalier’s game at this point of his career.

Detroit is in the midst of building a team that likes to get up-and-down the ice.

There would be interest in the 33-year-old center, who’s still good down low around the net, at the right price and length of deal, which they could jump at if it’s for one year.

“(The Wings are) a team I grew up idolizing,” Lecavalier said during a conference call Thursday. “(Detroit) and Montreal were my favorite teams. Steve Yzerman was my favorite player.”

Yzerman, who spent his entire career with the Wings, is the Lightning’s general manager.

Lecavalier has also reportedly met with Montreal, Dallas, Anaheim, Toronto, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got a move or two left,” Holland said. “Our goaltending is set, our defense is set. If we can get a top 2-3 defenseman we’ll look at it. They’re hard to find. We got 14 forwards signed (including RFAs). Some of them are kids. We have a move or two left over the next week or 10 days.”

The Wings currently have 12 players under contract and two others that are restricted free agents – Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist – will be signed sometime in the new future to bring the numbers up front to 14.

There are still three unrestricted free agents – Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner – that could find their way back on the roster, but those deals may not happen until hours leading up to the start of free agency.

“We’re talking on a regular basis,” Holland said. “I talked to them all just know or yesterday but nothing imminent to report. We’re going to continue to stay in touch.”

If the Wings are unable to sign Filppula they may try and trade his rights to a team so they could try exclusively to negotiate a deal with the center before he hits the open market.

“I haven’t thought about (leaving Detroit), but obviously it’s a possibly that could happen,” Filppula said during the Wings’ end-of-season locker cleanout. “It’d be tough. It’s been a really great place to be. I’ve been so happy here. We’ll see if we go … if that’s what’s going to happen.”

The Wings did make offers to Filppula in August and September before talks broke down.

Filppula, who made $3 million last season, is believed to be asking for about a $2 million raise a year.

Centers Stephen Weiss, Matt Cullen and Patrik Elias could also garner some interest from Detroit along with wingers Jarome Iginla, David Clarkson and Nathan Horton.

There is also a chance the Wings could decide to use one or two of their allotted contract buyouts, but would need to do so by July 3 since that player or players has to go on waivers.

“I’m not even sure what we’re doing. We’re going to get through today. We’ll wake up tomorrow. I’m going to go home,” Holland said. “We’ve got until Wednesday or Thursday to make some decisions. I’ve talked to, if not all the teams, 25-26 teams yesterday or Friday. Probably lots of teams are like I am, they’re not sure what to make. There’s lots of talk but I can’t tell you I sense anything’s really happening. There might be something happening with a team or two or three.”

Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer. They would be able to buyout a player at two-thirds of their remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.