Forward Anthony Mantha (DET) is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for December. An offensively prolific player since the start of the 2013-14 season, Mantha took his game to another level in December, with 14 points in five QMJHL games and 10 points through the preliminary round of the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Imagine spending two full seasons battling for ice time on a veteran-laden junior hockey team, one that was built to produce high-octane scoring in pursuit of a Western Hockey League championship. And then, when the elite performers finally move on, graduating to professional or Canadian University hockey, your time as a veteran leader emerges as the team is entrenched in rebuilding mode.
While the goal may have been modest, Germany's 2014 World Junior Championship entry managed to maintain their place among hockey's top countries at the U20 level by virtue of their winning a best-of-three, relegation round series over a tough Norway squad. By virtue of their win, Germany will take part in the 2015 WJC that will be held in Toronto, ON and Montreal, QC a year from now, while Norway once again drops down to the Division 1A WJC.
For Team Canada, the 2014 World Junior Championship played out very much as last year's U20 WJC ended up, with Canada going home as the fourth place team and no hardware in hand. And just like the 2013 event, it was Russia that defeated Canada to take the bronze medal, this time with a 2-1 win.