Big defenseman commits to UND

UND received a verbal commitment Monday night from 1996-born defenseman Ryan Mantha, who is 6-foot-5 and 212 pounds.

Mantha, who played for Belle Tire in Michigan last season and will play for Sioux City in the USHL this season, visited UND a couple of weeks ago and came away impressed.

“When I got there, everything clicked right away and I knew this was the place I wanted to be,” he said.

Mantha also visited Minnesota-Duluth and Wisconsin. He was picked in the fifth round by the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL. When asked if the window to the OHL is still open or if that has now closed, Mantha said “It’s closed. Very closed.”

Mantha said he knew about UND and Ralph Engelstad Arena because his brother played in the Little Caesars midget major tournament in the Ralph and returned to Michigan raving about it.

The earliest Mantha could come to UND would be 2014. His arrival date will depend on his development.

Sioux City used a tender to sign Mantha for the upcoming season. Sioux City’s assistant coach told the team website after signing Mantha to the tender: “We’re thrilled to have Ryan on board for next season. He is a big, mobile, puck-moving defenseman who we watched closely throughout the entire season. Ryan’s a player we felt was both physically ready while also having the maturity and mental makeup to make the next step in our league as a 1996-born player.”

Mantha’s uncle, Moe, played 12 years in the NHL for the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota North Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. Moe also coached in the AHL, ECHL, OHL and NAHL.

6 thoughts on “Big defenseman commits to UND

  1. I guess I understand it is natural to ask but why even bother with the OHL question? The truth is even if he had some lingering thoughts about going there, he’s not going to say it right after committing to a college. I think we have learned by now that we can take anything we hear on the topic as being gospel until they actually show up on campus.

  2. Perhaps this is a first get for Berry since he has been back.? Don’t know much about Mantha but he is huge. Now if we can get McCoshen our D will be beefy in the coming years. Pelnik, Mantha looks good.

  3. It would be fun to know how hard Wisconsin was pursuing him. An early recruiting victory over a Big 10 school after the league re-shuffle would be fun.

  4. 16 year old kid at those stats…. he’s going to be a monster in two years, and especially after he gets on the Sioux meal plan. I’m preferential to the larger D-men and would love to see six back on the blue line with these type of physical stats. It would be intimidating to some of the smaller forwards college hockey has.

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