Josh Manson, son of Prince Albert Raiders associate coach Dave Manson, carries the puck for the Midget-AAA Prince Albert Mintos in a 2009 SMAAAHL contest against the Tisdale Trojans. Josh inked a two-year entry level deal with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. Herald file photo.
Although he is too young to remember his father’s heyday in the NHL, Josh Manson has been told the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Josh is the 22-year-old son of Prince Albert Raiders associate coach and former NHL defenceman Dave Manson, who throughout his 16-year NHL career established himself as one of the toughest to ever play the game.
Dave Manson used his big frame and intimidating presence to make space for himself on the ice as he collected 102 goals and 2,792 penalty minutes with seven NHL clubs.
Selected 160th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Josh inked a two-year entry-level deal with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
Josh said there are many facets of his game that mirror that of his father’s.
“From what I hear we do have some of the same tendencies out there,” Josh said when comparing himself to his father. “I’m not going to go out there to score goals, I know that, so I have to take care of the other side of the game as best I can.”
Like his father, Josh is a native of Prince Albert and played for the Midget-AAA Mintos where as a forward, he tallied 35 points in 40 games in 2009.
Prior to signing his first professional contract on Monday, Josh developed his game in the NCAA, playing for Northeastern University.
In three seasons with the Hockey East division team, Josh tallied 21 points and 158 penalty minutes.
This season, Josh was awarded the team’s captaincy, leading them to a 19-14-4 record.
On Monday, Josh packed up his university dorm room and immediately headed out to join the Duck’s American Hockey League affiliate Norfolk Admirals.
As the Admirals make a push for the playoffs, the six-foot-three, 203-pound d-man hopes he can immediately make an impact.
“Hopefully I can step into the lineup over the next little while and help them make a push,” Josh said of joining the Admirals, who currently sit eighth in the AHL’s Eastern Conference with a record of 34-22-9.
Although he is putting it on pause for the time being, Josh still plans to complete his criminal justice degree at Northeastern, a commitment he made to himself and his parents.
“We decided that if I was going to leave I had to make a commitment to get my degree,” he explained. “I’m going to finish my semester with online classes and I’ll take my senior year over the next few summers.”
Playing at the college level, Josh not only earned credits towards a degree, but also had the chance to develop as a hockey player at his own pace.
“It was best to let my body grow and fill out a little bit more,” he explained of going the college route rather than the CHL. “Coming out of the WHL you have to be ready to play pro whereas you can play college hockey until you are 24 and that’s exactly what I needed.”
As he takes a major step towards the NHL, Josh said he owes it all to the support of the hockey-mad city of Prince Albert, known as Hockey Town North.
“The Saskatchewan hockey culture is really what did it for me,” Josh said of his drive to become a professional hockey player. “The biggest contributor was living in Prince Albert. Being surround by the hockey culture there made me love the game that much more.”