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

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Red Wings, William Nylander
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

A closer look at their abilities

If you looked at just their point totals, it would be easy to conclude that Nylander is the superior player. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice a few key differences between the two. Mantha has played one complete NHL season in his career, while Nylander has played three.

Mantha has played much of his career with an aging Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader. Nylander earned top-line minutes alongside Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares.

Looking at advanced stats alone shows the clear superiority of Mantha. Mantha’s 5v5 points/60 minutes on a roster of Detroit’s caliber are far ahead of Nylander — and Nylander had a full season to show his stuff.

If that wasn’t enough, the underlying numbers on zone entries, exits, shots, and more show Mantha running away with the competition within a 40-game sample. Again — this isn’t to say that Nylander isn’t a spectacular player on his own. It’s just further proof that Mantha is in a completely different league.

Mantha found success, and that is no secret to fans; Nylander has also found success with the Maple Leafs. It’s a matter of Mantha elevating himself to a whole different level, especially since Mantha can be so dominant on the ice.

Nylander is also a spectacular player and crucial to the Maple Leafs offense. Still, looking at abilities alone, Mantha has proven repeatedly on a rebuilding Red Wings team that he can be a dominant player in various facets of the game.