2008-09: Josh Manson played AAA midget hockey with the Prince Albert Mintos; scoring 19 goals with 16 assists in 40 games. The son of former NHL defensemen Dave Manson, he committed to playing junior hockey for Salmon Arm in the BCHL and keeping his college options open rather than skating for the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders.
2009-10: Manson skated in 54 of 60 games for the BCHL's Salmon Arm, as the Silverbacks finished fourth in the Interior Division. He scored 10 goals with 14 assists and had 75 PMs. Manson scored 1 goal with 15 PMs in six playoff games.
2010-11: Manson scored 12 goals, most among defensemen, and was fourth amongst all skaters for Salmon Arm with 35 assists in his second BCHL season. Manson skated in 57 games for the Silverbacks and had 47 PMs. In 14 playoff games he had 2 goals with 7 assists and 15 PMs. In February 2011, Manson committed to playing college hockey at Quinnipiac in 2012-13 but he changed his mind and decided to play for Northeastern in 2011-12.
2011-12: Manson skated in 33 games for Northeastern University as a freshman. Paired mostly with the Huskies top two defensemen – Anthony Bitetto (NSH) and Luke Eibler – he had 4 assists and was plus-nine with 48 penalty minutes. Northeastern tied Massachusetts for eighth in points in Hockey East but missed the league tournament due to tie-breaker criteria.
2012-13: Manson played in 33 of 34 games for Northeastern in his sophomore season. In what was a tough season for the Huskies, he saw plenty of ice time and was used at times at forward late in the year due to Northeastern's limited numbers. He finished the season with 3 goals and 4 assists and was -9 with 45 penalty minutes. The Huskies missed the Hockey East tournament; finishing last in the 10-team league.
Manson has sought to become a second-generation NHL player. He played out his junior eligibility predominantly in the lower-profile BCHL before enrolling at Northeastern University. He made the switch from defensive-minded forward to offensive-minded defenseman, a move that paid off immediately. He has played a limited role in two seasons at Northeastern University but he has continued to develop physically, now 6’3 and well over 200 pounds.
Manson is definitely a project, having heretofore played in a bit of obscurity and made a major transition. He seems like an intriguing flier to have taken in the sixth round, a big kid with puck skills and a solid pedigree despite some unusual playing venues. Manson was expected to shoulder a lot more of the load for Northeastern on defense in 2012-13 as Anthony Bitetto (signed with Nashville) and Luke Eibler (transferred to Northern Michigan) have moved on. However, it seems his year to step up has been pushed to 2013-14.