Chicago Blackhawks‘ prospect Ian Mitchell, has reportedly agreed to an entry level contract with the team after playing three seasons with the University of Denver.
Ian Mitchell has agreed to terms with the Blackhawks, ICYMI. This has been updated with contract information. https://t.co/G6MUssCcfY
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) April 11, 2020
Ian Mitchell Signs with Chicago
Ian Mitchell was drafted 57th overall in the 2017 draft by the Blackhawks. The 21-year-old right-shot defencemen from St. Albert, Alberta scored roughly 30 points over the past three seasons with the University of Denver. This season, as Denver’s captain, Mitchell scored 10 goals, added 22 assists for 32 points in 36 games. Mitchell also played for Team Canada at the 2019 World Juniors. During the tournament, he played five games and scored one goal and three points.
What This Means for the Future
Mitchell is a small defencemen for NHL standards at 5’11 and 174 pounds. However, his size shouldn’t hold him back. He is as a fantastic skater, a strong puck mover, exceptionally smart and dependable on both ends of the ice. He doesn’t project as an elite offensive defencemen, but can bring a good amount of offence because of his skating and intelligence.
Small, mobile and smart defensemen are becoming more common in the NHL. Players like Samuel Girard, Will Butcher and Adam Fox have all played regularly this season as defencemen shorter than six-feet. Proving that size won’t hold Mitchell back from the NHL.
Powers interviewed Blackhawks director of player development Mark Eaton about how Mitchell will transition to the professional game.
“I think the learning curve is far less steep for a guy like Ian because he does put in the work and he’s able to learn from mistakes, learn from talking to coaches and whatnot and figure out what he needs to be successful. It’s just going to be putting in the time for him. I don’t think it’s a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. I expect him to make a quick transition.”
For next season, Mitchell is currently behind right-shot Blackhawks defencemen Connor Murphy, Adam Boqvist and Brent Seabrook on the depth chart. However, Seabrook was scheduled to have three surgeries during the winter to fix his right shoulder and both hips. If he is not ready to play by the start of next season, Mitchell could be in the Blackhawks line-up. With already having three successful years of college hockey completed, Mitchell should be ready to jump into the NHL.