2010-11:Anthony Mantha made his QMJHL debut, appearing in two games with Val-d’or, spending most of the season with the College Charles-Lemoy Riverains in Quebec’s midget AAA league. Selected by the Foreurs in the fifth round (76th overall) of the 2011 QMJHL Entry Draft, he played in two December games for Val-d’or, with no points and a minus-two plus/minus. He was the third-leading scorer for the Riverains, scoring 20 goals with 24 assists in 37 games, and had 42 penalty minutes. In five playoff games he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and had 2 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Mantha played in 63 games for Val-d’or in his first full year in the QMJHL and represented Canada in the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 22 goals with 29 assists and was minus-11 with 39 penalty minutes. The Foreurs were second in the West Division. Mantha scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was minus-nine with 6 penalty minutes in the wild four game playoff series with Rimouski. He joined Canada after the Val-d’or was eliminated and in seven games at the U18 WJC he scored 1 goal and was minus-two.
2012-13: Mantha was Val-d’or’s second leading scorer behind Penguins prospect Anton Zlobin in his second season. He led the QMJHL with 50 goals and had 39 assists in 67 games and was plus-21 with 71 penalty minutes. The Foreurs reached the second round in the playoffs after finishing fourth in the West Division. Mantha scored 5 goals with 7 assists and was plus-1 with 13 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He was ranked 10th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-season rankings and remained in that position in the CSS final rankings. He was selected by Detroit in the first round (20th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Mantha led the QMJHL in scoring in his third season with Val’d’Or and played for Canada in the 2014 World Juniors. He scored a league-leading 57 goals with 63 assists and was +34 with 75 penalty minutes in 57 regular season games. The Foreurs reached the Memorial Cup after winning the league championship. Mantha scored 24 goals with 14 assists and was +17 with 52 penalty minutes in 24 QMJHL playoff games. Val d’Or won two of its first three games, including an overtime win over eventual champion Edmonton, before losing to the Oil Kings, 4-3, in triple overtime in the Memorial Cup semifinal game. Mantha scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in four Memorial Cup games. He scored 5 goals with 6 assists and was +6 in seven games for Canada, which finished fourth after falling 2-1 to Russia in the bronze medal game. Mantha signed a three-year entry-level contract with Detroit in October 2013.
2014-15: Mantha did not make his pro hockey debut with Detroit AHL affiliate Grand Rapids until November after suffering a broken tibia in a rookie tournament game in September. Steadily adapting to pro hockey from the junior game, he had the ups and downs not uncommon for a 20-year-old in his first AHL season. He provided secondary scoring and some physical play in his first season with the Griffins.
Mantha is purely and simply a goal scorer. He has a great frame that he uses to fight through traffic, solid puck awareness and offensive positioning, all topped with a heavy wrister that he can fire quickly and smoothly. For a player of his size, he skates very well but he needs to keep his feet moving and work hard on both sides of the puck. Mantha is does not mind physical play and will willingly engage in battles, but can sometimes be goaded into undisciplined penalties.
Mantha joined the professional ranks in 2014-15; skating for Red Wings' AHL affiliate Grand Rapids. Slowed by an injury that kept him from competing for an NHL spot in Detroit, he returned to the ice in November 2014. He has had the battles and struggles not uncommon for a first-year pro making the jump from junior hockey. Long-term he is expected to be a consistent scorer at the NHL level and a top-line forward.