It’s been almost a decade and a half since Josh Manson suited up for the Prince Albert Mintos in the 2008-2009 season, but the 31-year-old defenceman is still using the lessons he learned in Prince Albert in the NHL.
Josh Manson will be presented with the Male Athlete Of The Year Award at the upcoming Kinsmen-Raider Celebrity Dinner on Oct. 22 in the Ches Leach Lounge at the Art Hauser Centre.
Manson says he appreciates the recognition for the award.
“It’s very special to win the Male Athlete Of The Year Award. I am honored to have been selected.”
Manson says his time with the Mintos program played a vital role in showing him what it takes to play hockey at an elite level.
“The Mintos taught me many things. Playing with that organization the emphasis was always on hard work and determination. That is something I attempt to carry with me through my career [every day].”
Current Mintos head coach Tim Leonard says he saw potential in Manson during his time with the Mintos organization.
“He came at 16, a little rough around the edges, but he knew how to play the game. It was just a matter of his body filling out, his legs getting stronger. We knew he was going to turn into a player. He did everything right. That was one thing about Josh, he knew the game and he played it the right way.”
Leonard adds that Manson had a phenomenal work ethic during his time in Prince Albert.
“You have to work every night, if you want to go somewhere in hockey. If you have the work ethic and the discipline, I think things will fall in place. That’s how Josh was. The two years that he played here, there were not too many times he did the wrong things. He played it the right way. His work ethic was fantastic. His discipline was just as good.”
The former 6th round NHL draft pick reached the top of hockey’s Mount Everest this past spring after he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Colorado Avalanche after being acquired via trade from Anaheim at the deadline.
Manson played a key role in the playoff success of the Avalanche as he recorded 8 points in 20 playoff games. Manson also recorded 7 points in 22 regular season games after being acquired from Anaheim.
Over the summer, Manson brought the Stanley Cup to Prince Albert and displayed it to the public at the Art Hauser Centre in August.
He says it was very special for him to show the Stanley Cup to youth hockey players in Prince Albert.
“Bringing the Cup back to Prince Albert was something that was very important to me. I wanted to show the younger players growing up playing hockey in PA first hand what the goal is and hopefully give them some extra incentive to work hard and stick with hockey.”
The Avalanche took down the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.
Manson says the final moments in the deciding Game 6 were a highlight in his hockey career.
“In the final seconds, I was just trying to will the clock to move faster. It was a surreal moment to be able to throw off our gear and immediately feel that sense of relief that it was all over and we had won [the Stanley Cup].”
Manson will not be able to attend the dinner in person to accept the award as he will be with Colorado when they play the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 22