(photo: Dinur Blum)
Of course there are players that are just good when they finally get to play their first actual NHL game but then there are the ones who totally blow the expectations out of the water.
Anaheim Ducks’ defenseman Josh Manson has shown the crowd what a standout player he really is. His time to shine came around when the Ducks’ injury list was at its worst with some of their bigger players like Bryan Allen who was recently traded to Montreal, Ben Lovejoy and Mark Fistric out with injuries so bad that they were no doubt going to be gone more than just a couple of games.
He made his debut on Oct. 31 against the Dallas Stars. He had a small role then but gradually grew larger when Francois Beauchemin was out sick. Now he is playing 20 minutes a game if not sometimes more.
Manson was drafted by the Ducks back in 2011 but they did not think that he was going to be up with the big boys playing anytime soon. Their plan was to have him mostly playing in the American Hockey League for the Norfolk Admirals.
Before some of the big trades that Anaheim did, they were not one of the teams that had the gigantic players that could shove guys around and a lot of the guys they already have are injured. At 6’3 and 217-lbs, there is no doubt that calling Manson from Norfolk to help hold up the defense was one of the best choices to get the Ducks rolling again.
At this rate, the 23-year-old will do nothing but keep developing from here. It will take a few bad games here or there but with the impression he has already set, he is going to be a major asset to the team in the very near future.