How does Anthony Mantha help the Golden Knights?

The Vegas Golden Knights just got better with Anthony Mantha coming to town in a trade with the Washington Capitals.
Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning
Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Vegas Golden Knights acquired a solid forward in Anthony Mantha, and doing so could help catapult them back into serious contention for a top playoff spot in the Western Conference. With the fourth-place Los Angeles Kings surging and Vegas winning just two of their last 10 games as of March 4th, it was clear general manager Kelly McCrimmon needed to do something by the March 8th deadline, and wow, what a splash they just made with the Mantha acquisition.

Mantha has 20 goals this season, and his ability to find the net often will give Vegas an incredible depth scorer on its middle-six. So far in 2023-24, not only has Mantha found the net often, but he’s doing so roughly every four-and-a-half times he records a shot on net, given his eye-popping 22.2 shooting percentage. 

Mantha’s plus-7.4 possession quality is his highest since 2019-20, and it also implies he will also help out Vegas defensively, giving the Knights value on both ends of the ice. 

Anthony Mantha trade helps the Golden Knights in many ways

Opponents have had a tough time figuring Mantha out this season when they’re trying to score, as he boasts an on-ice save percentage of 91.2 at 5-on-5. He has been invaluable to the Washington Capitals in helping them regain puck possession and make plays in the offensive zone, something else that’s highlighted in his possession metrics. 

His offensive zone starting percentage is just 43.2 through 56 games with the Caps at 5-on-5, but his Corsi For is a healthy 50.5. This may be lower than in recent seasons, but he’s also seeing fewer offensive zone starts than any other time in his career. His previous career-low of 47.2 is a full four percentage points higher, so Mantha helped move the puck well. 

Mantha has also been an asset on the Capitals power play, logging 93.8 minutes this season, and helping the unit score 13 goals on the man advantage. Vegas’ power play hasn’t been the hottest, sitting at a below league-average 19.5 percent after 62 games. So, if they want to use Mantha to boost their special teams, he will also help out there.