Thursday, September 24, 2009

09/10 Men's Previews: #24 John Mitchell


Vitals:

Position: Forward
Year in School: Senior
Shoots Left
Height: Tall
Weight: 224
Hometown: Neenah, WI
Major: Sociology
Previous Team: Indiana Ice (USHL) in 05

NHL Considerations: Had interest last summer, didn’t hear much this summer, but he has NHL size, and you can’t teach that.

08/09 Stats: 40 games, 15-11-16, +6, 118 PIM
07/08 Stats: 40 games, 8-5-13, +4, 49 PIM

09/10 Role: 2nd line, PP

08/09 Recap: John continued his progression as a hockey player last season, tying for the team lead in goals, and doubling most of his stats from the previous season. He was productive on offense at EV and on the 2nd PP unit, but also led the team in PIM. It’s still amazing how far he has come during the past few seasons.

Biggest Strength: John has a knack to be in the right place at the right time, which led to a lot of goals last season. His size makes him a factor as well.

Biggest Weakness: His decision making still has room for improvement. While his goal and assist totals increased, so did his PIM. He was booted from several games for checking from behind. Sometimes its an accident, but when it happens w/ regularity (among other foolish penalties) that is an issue.

09/10 Thoughts: Not sure what to think of John for the coming season. There were several times last season, sitting next to 60 on a Friday night, when John would make a colossal blunder, and I’d then miss the goal he’d score making up for his blunder because I was ranting about the blunder. As I said above, he really needs to work on decision making, his skating is vastly improved, and he has a nice scoring touch, while he’s a good in his own zone as well. Offensively I’d be surprised to see him improve a ton more, but he certainly has some other parts of his game to refine in his final season, to impress NHL scouts on the way to a contract. He’ll definitely be part of the offense, where, well only Eaves can answer that, and he’ll change his mind (w/ the forward lines) often.

All in all, it has certainly been fun to watch John for the past several seasons, and watch him improve almost from game to game.

Prediction: 34 games, 12-10-22*
*All predictions for regular season only

Photo from uwbadgers.com