Red Wings: Anthony Mantha is better than Maple Leafs’ William Nylander

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Detroit Red Wings, Anthony Mantha

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Take a look at how Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha stacks up against one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward, William Nylander, and why Mantha is a far better player.

Less than a week ago, Anthony Mantha signed a four-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. The star forward is poised to be a massive part of the Red Wings’ offense for the next four years as he seeks to eclipse the 30 — and possibly 40 goal plateau.

William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs has often been a comparison to Mantha. Both are young, speedy forwards with strong shots, and both are poised to be key components to their team’s respective rosters.

But, as the two continue to develop, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: comparing Mantha to Nylander is a one-sided battle. Mantha is the superior player and will continue to show this as the years continue.

Take a look at their history, statistical differences, and why Mantha has the clear edge below.

A brief history of the players

Mantha began his full-time NHL career in the 2016-17 season, where, after fighting his way into a roster spot, he managed to score 36 points in 60 games. Over the following three seasons, Mantha managed 48 points in 80 games, 48 points in 67 games, and 38 points in just 43 games. These numbers may seem underwhelming on paper, but it’s important to note that injuries shortened both his 2019-20 season and his 2018-19 season.

Last year, Mantha played at a .97 point-per-game pace. If he were to keep that momentum up, he would have ended the year with around 68 points. In a full NHL season, he would have ended with over 80 points. While those numbers may seem unattainable, the fact that Mantha could manage such a pace on a team with an underwhelming 17 wins shows there’s plenty left in the tank for Mantha.

Nylander, on the other hand, finished his first full NHL season during the same 2016-17 season. He ended the year with 61 points in 81 games while sharing the ice with superstars Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. During the next three seasons, he scored 61 points in 82 games, 27 points in 54 games, and 59 points in 68 games, respectively.

Last year, Nylander scored at a .86 points-per-game pace. While comparing paces is an unfair metric, it’s not surprising that Nylander was able to score at such a high pace. He is a skillful winger in his own right, but he also shares the ice with John Tavares, who had 26 goals and 60 points at a near point-per-game pace. Much of his already potent skill is elevated further with Tavares at his side.

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