WDIV’s David Bartkowiak Jr. wonders aloud whether Filip Zadina’s Quebec League success won’t immediately translate to high NHL productivity, suggesting that Zadina may turn out to be Anthony Mantha 2.0–a player worth waiting for, but requiring some developmental time:
The Red Wings, as a club, are known for having prospects “marinate,” if you will, in the minor leagues before slotting them into the NHL lineup. Case in point is Anthony Mantha, who led the Red Wings with 24 goals this past season, his second full season with the NHL team.
Mantha’s road to NHL-level production is about four or five years in the making. Remember, it was Mantha, the 20th overall pick in the 2013 draft, who scored 57 goals and another 63 assists in his final year in the QMJHL. That was after two full seasons with the QMJHL’s Val d’Or Foreurs. He scored 51 points in his first season, 89 points in his second and then finished with that monster 120-point season. He was destined for NHL success.
And he’s found it, but it took two full seasons in the AHL and growing pains in the NHL before Mantha could be considered a real threat to opponents. He had to find a way to use his big 6-foot-5 frame and learn what tracking down the NHL’s fastest players is like. The jump from juniors to the pros isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
Of course, Zadina is not Mantha, and it’s not necessarily fair to compare any players, especially two players with such different backgrounds. But one thing the Red Wings might be looking for is whether Zadina can show consistent growth at another level. He only played one season in Canada juniors, so there’s no way to really measure his growth at that level.
Bartkowiak Jr. continues, and Zadina’s spot in the lineup (or the lack thereof) will be determined over the course of the next couple of weeks…