Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate Grand Rapid Griffins rallied from down 0-2 versus the Toronto Marlies to take their best-of-five first-round series in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Although the Griffins managed to extend their season, Detroit Red Wings senior vice president Jim Devellano offered some strong criticism of 2013 first-round (20th overall) draft choice Anthony Mantha.
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Devellano, via Keith Gave of FOX Sports Detroit:
“Very, very, very disappointing,” said Devellano regarding Mantha’s play. “And I say that with a lot of sadness. Coming out of junior, we had such high hopes for him.”
Mantha responded to the criticism on Tuesday.
“Personally, I think I underachieved a little bit,” he said. “Obviously, I would have liked, say, 50, 60, 70 points. That was my goal at the start of the season. Obviously, I didn’t achieve that, but it’s not over.”
Mantha scored 129 goals and 260 points in 189 games with the Val d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL. The 20-year-old scored 15 goals and 33 points in 62 games with the AHL Griffins in 2014-15.
The Detroit Red Wings reportedly pulled out of trade talks regarding defenceman Dion Phaneuf after the Toronto Maple Leafs asked for Mantha to be included in a potential deal.
Mantha was a standout for Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, totalling five goals and 11 points in seven games. Canada finished fourth in the tournament after falling to Russia in the bronze medal game.
The Griffins will meet the Rockford IceHogs in the second round, which begins Wednesday.