By John Vogl
Position: Right wing
Junior team: Val-D’or (QMJHL)
Born: Longueuil, Quebec
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 190 pounds
2012-13 stats: 67 games, 50 goals, 39 assists, 89 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 10
Lowdown: The name Pronovost should resonate with longtime Buffalo fans and Sabres historians. Marcel Pronovost coached the Sabres for two seasons in the late 1970s. He played in the NHL, as did brothers Andre, Claude and Jean. Mantha is the grandson of Andre Pronovost, and that’s where he learned the game and its nuances.
The tips turned Mantha into one of junior hockey’s most potent snipers. It takes special talent to score 50 goals at any level. Mantha’s enviable traits include an eagerness to score and a terrific shot. He’s been compared to the Sabres’ Thomas Vanek for his ability to pick corners and fire through people.
Mantha focuses more on offense than defense, so he has work to do to become a two-way player. Despite gaudy stats and measurable improvement – he scored 22 times the previous season – his work ethic has been knocked. Mantha, born Sept. 16, missed the cutoff for the 2012 draft by one day, so he is being measured against players who can be almost a full year younger.
They said it: "He has everything you need to succeed. He can skate, he's smart, he reads the play, he has everything. But if there's one negative, he sometimes has a tendency to take the easy way out. … You can't teach talent like he has or hands like he has." – Chris Bordeleau of Central Scouting to NHL.com.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.