Ryan Mantha is a 20 year old 6’5″ 225lb right-handed shooting defenseman for the Niagara Ice Dogs and speculation has it that the Oilers could be looking to sign the Ice Dogs captain.
Now as Oilers fans, we all know that these rumors come from all sorts of nooks and crannies, and this one just happened to spurn on that boards over at Hockey’s Future. You know me, anything to get the inside scoop on something Oilers-related, right?
Anyways, I guess the tipping point was Mantha following the Oilers on Twitter today… Thanks to my friend David for pointing this out to me 🙂
Let’s talk a bit more about the nephew of former NHL defenseman, Moe Mantha.
Date of birth: 6/18/1996
Place of birth: Clarkston, Michigan
Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 225 lbs
Ryan Mantha was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the 2014 draft in the 4th round (104th overall). He wasn’t signed and went back into the draft but subsequently wasn’t picked and is now a free agent to sign where he pleases. This season he attended the Buffalo Sabres training camp but couldn’t catch on and was released back to junior to play for Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League.
As you can see, his production has gone up exponentially for the Ice Dogs this year. At nearly a point-per-game, Mantha is showing an offensive element that was previously untapped. Here’s what is being said about him online:
Mantha has good bloodlines and impressive size. Handles the puck well and makes a strong breakout pass. Uses his reach and strength to defend. He needs to work on his transition and overall mobility as well as improve his physical play as he comes off as somewhat soft. (November 2013)
Mantha does play the game smart though. He is poised with the puck and is great at finding open teammates up the ice. He has a strong outlet pass from his own zone. His skating has been somewhat of an issue, but nothing a little determination won’t fix. He has a blast from the point. Mantha also has great reach, as would be expected since he’s 6’5″.
Has been man-sized since he was 16, and was converted to a dman due to his size and temperament. Has a big hard shot, and is good at getting the puck to his mates. He will need more lateral ability to close better, but he does a fine job of clearing the front and protecting teammates. Was named to the USA Developmental team playing in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Was named to the U.S. World Junior A roster for the Junior A Challenge.
So there you have it, I don’t know if there’s any substance to the HFBoards speculation (there often isn’t) but this is an intriguing player and one that the Oilers need in their system. Chiarelli has had some pretty good luck signing players out of college (Benning, Caggiula, Ellis), why not try an overager out of the OHL?