Few players are generating as much buzz at the current world championships than Anthony Mantha.
The Red Wings’ forward has carried his late-season scoring surge into the world tournament. Mantha was second in the tournament with seven points (three goals, four assists) in only three games for Canada, skating and playing with the puck about as well as he did at any point during the regular season.
Which is great news for the Red Wings, as Mantha, possibly further increases … his trade value?
The chances are slim of Mantha being dealt, especially given the way the line of Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi exploded the final weeks of the regular season.
But with those three young forwards, plus Andreas Athanasiou, and prospects such as Michael Rasmussen, Taro Hirose, Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Evgeny Svechnikov and Jonatan Berggren — not to mention whoever the Wings pluck out of next month’s entry draft — the Wings’ young talent pool among forwards runs deep.
Among the defensemen, it's not quite as deep. And certainly on the NHL roster, the depth chart isn’t as strong — and, it's aging — compared to others around the league.
Some of the forwards aren’t going anywhere. Larkin is the foundation of this organization. Bertuzzi had 21-goal season, is a heart-and-soul player, but wouldn’t likely fetch the return that a Mantha or Athanasiou would, and is probably a more valuable player for the Wings, given his intangibles, than for other teams.
That leaves Athanasiou and Mantha, primarily, as two names that jump out.
So, why not ship a good young forward for a talented young defenseman?
It’s a question that makes sense, especially for a general manager like Steve Yzerman, who showed in Tampa Bay a willingness to be aggressive, at times.