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Player Review: Josh Manson
By: Matthew Garcia
Josh Manson who is fresh off of a four-year contract extension wrapped up his third full season in an Anaheim Ducks sweater suiting up for 80 games in the 2017-2018 campaign. Manson scored 7 goals and notched 30 assists setting a career high in points with 37 which was 20 points higher than what he recorded last season (17) and he accomplished it in two fewer games. Late in the season Manson suffered an upper-body injury in what was a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on March 18, 2018, the injury forced Josh out of the line-up for two games, but he would be back and healthy in the midst of a late playoff push by the Ducks and the opening of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Manson would not be on the Anaheim scoresheet in their four-game sweep against the San Jose Sharks.
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Manson, who is well-known for his physical style of play in Anaheim racked up a total of 180 hits in the 2017-2018 season which is 27 less than what he had last season with a total of 227, however, Manson proved to be much more defensive minded as he blocked 99 shots in his 80 games played. Not only was he still a physical force to be reckoned with by laying the body, but he also appeared in a total of four fights this season with only one coming at home in Anaheim and that was against Derek Dorsett of the Vancouver Canucks in which Dorsett was standing up for Bo Horvat after Manson attempted to dispatch of him at the Anaheim blue line. Moving forward in Anaheim it appears that Manson has found his niche with defensive partner Hampus Lindholm and these two look to be the cornerstone of the defensive blueprint that the Ducks have established.
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This season marked the first of the four-year $4.1M contract extension that Josh had signed prior to the start of the 2017-2018 campaign, and did he ever make it worth it for the Ducks as he was tasked with helping lead the charge on the Anaheim blue line at the beginning of the season due to the injuries to key defenseman. Manson showed more of his offensive prowess and continues to show improvement as time goes on if the Ducks are to continue being perennial playoff contenders Manson will need to continue with his offensive production as well as his stellar defensive play. With the chemistry that he shows with Lindholm look for those two to be paired together for the entire duration that they are in Anaheim so long as the Ducks blue line is able to remain healthy.
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June 30th, 2018