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Positional Analysis: Left Wing

image via zimbio.com

In the last Winged Pride article we looked at the organizational depth at Center. In this article we will be looking at the young players they have at Left Wings. Out of the three forward positions this is the one where they have the most depth. The top three guys here are Anthony Mantha, Gustav Nyquist, and Tomas Tatar. Despite Nyquist and Tatar already playing and contributing on the Red Wings Winged Pride considers them to be part of the future more than the present.

We have already spent a lot of time with Nyquist so we will just go over him briefly here. Nyquist has good speed, great vision and anticipation, and the ability to create plays on his own as well as finish them. Nyquist's greatest asset is his strong transitional game. He is able to make good passes and move the puck quickly through the neutral zone and keep possession throughout the breakout. Nyquist should absolutely be a top 6 winger. His skill and speed will compliment any kind of player. 

Tomas Tatar is a little bit different, as he is much less polished than Nyquist. Tatar has great offensive ability. He has really good hands and a strong shot. He should be expected to generate offense whenever he is on the ice. However his defensive game is pretty weak. This is weakest point as a player. He is smaller than the other 2 guys listed here which means he has to be shifty as well as careful which makes it hard for him to be a force on the ice or when going in the corner to get the puck. Despite this, he still projects to a be top 6 winger and has the offensive ability to get 50 or 60 points in a year. 

Lastly, Anthony Mantha. I have wanted to cover him for awhile but haven't found the right time to do so. Mantha is a pure goal scorer. He scored 50 goals last year in the Q and is on pace to get about 70 this year. Mantha pacing two points a game, 56 points (25G 31A) in 25 games. Mantha is on pace to get about 130 points if he plays a full schedule at the pace he is right now. He is generating all the offense on his line and his scoring sense is great. Disregarding the one year of Hossa, the Wings have lacked a pure goal scorer. Expect Mantha to be a top line forward and to be extremely productive. He is a big boy with a nose for the net. He needs to develop a strong defensive game, but so does almost every other forward his age. Winged Pride is very high on Mantha and is extremely excited to see what he does the rest of the year as well as next year with Griffins. 

If you couldn't tell, the Red Wings have a little bit of a logjam at Left Wing. They have three extremely skilled left wingers. Holland should be very happy right now. Holland has a few options with this, he can either play one of these three guys on the bottom 6, give him 10-15 minutes a game and watch them dominate, he could move one of them to Right Wing and see if they would be able to adapt, or he can trade one of them away for some extra depth at Center. It is also entirely possible that these thee guys don't live up to their potential and they don't have three top 6 left wingers but just 3 average left wingers. All of these things are possible but left wing is a position where the Wings look to be set for awhile. 

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