Anthony Mantha would love nothing more than to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. And the Longueuil native took what “could” be the first step today, when he joined 55 other draft prospects at the Canadiens’ combine at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
Mantha’s grandfather is Andre Pronovost, who won four Stanley Cups as a member of the Habs from 1957-58 through 1960-61. That moment was not lost on Mantha, a 6-3, 200 pound winger who netted 50 goals and added 39 assists in 67 games with the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL this season.
“It’s my dream growing up,” said Mantha after today’s session at Brossard. “It’s one step away, maybe, right now. It’s a great feeling.”
Listen as Mantha tells me about the initial conversations he’s had with the Canadiens.
The latest rankings by International Scouting Services had Mantha ranked 24th among its top 30 ranked prospects for this month’s NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens have one pick in the first round, at the number 25 spot. They have three in the second (Nos. 34, 36, 57) and two in the third (Nos. 71, 88).
Centre Bo Horvat, ranked number 10 by International Scouting Services, also took part in today’s combine. Horvat scored 33 goals and added 28 assists in 67 games with the London Knights, Jarred Tinordi’s junior hockey alma mater. Tinordi was the Knight’s captain the one year that he and Horvat played together in London — Horvat’s rookie season in the OHL.
“I learned a lot from him. He was a great captain, a great leader,” said Horvat. “He kind of showed me the ropes and was someone I kind of looked up to last year. I’m really happy for him. It would be something to play on the same team again, that’s for sure.”
Mantha, Horvat, and the rest of the draft prospects performed their on-ice and dry-land sessions today under the watchful eye of Shane Churla, who joined the Canadiens May 27 as their chief amateur scout.