Red Wings trade Anthony Mantha to Capitals for Jakub Vrana, draft picks, more
He traded Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals in return for a first-round pick in 2021, a second-round pick in 2022 and forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik.
Vrana is a former first-round pick. He has 11 goals and 14 assists in 39 games. Panik has three goals and six assists in 36 games.
It was a bold move by Yzerman, trading a 6-foot-5, 234-pound forward who he signed to a four-year, $22.8 million contract in the offseason. But Mantha, 26, performed this season as he has his entire NHL career: Inconsistently. Given his size and skill he should be noticed regularly, but there were games when his effort lacked.
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That didn't sit well with Yzerman, who took the GM job two years ago. Mantha knew it, too – to his credit, he has been frank in his assessment of his own play, calling it not good enough on multiple occasions. The Wings drafted him at 20th in 2013.
“We’re trying to add draft picks or prospects to expedite the rebuild that we’re under,” Yzerman said. “This was an opportunity to acquire picks but still try to keep as competitive as possible. We feel like we get a replacement for the offense that we’re losing and a player at the position we’re losing in trading Anthony in acquiring Jakub.”
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said it was tough parting with Vrana, but that the skilled player had been frustrated about his ice time. He also said Vrana's status as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights also played a role in the trade and they now have cost certainty with Mantha signed long-term.