Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • Versatile Zack Mitchell


    Since I didn't see a lot of Zack Mitchell when he played for the Guelph Storm of the OHL, I didn't know what to expect from him in his first professional season. After all, he didn't get drafted even though he's a guy who is 6'0" tall and scored 83 points in the OHL in his overage season. I thought there must be some reason no one would risk even a late round pick on a guy who could produce to that level. But in his first pro season, I've been impressed with his consistency and his commitment to working hard all over the ice. And I can't figure out why he went undrafted.

    He is a versatile player, useful in all situations. Mitchell is important to Iowa's power play and penalty kill, and he excels in these roles. Even better, he looked focused and consistent, even before Iowa's recent coaching change. He also skates quickly, and he's also quite maneuverable on the ice. With 4 goals and 3 assists, he doesn't lead the team in points, but he is contributing an expected amount. This production has him tied for 27th among AHL rookies, which is pretty good considering Iowa's early problems. He is aggressive on the forecheck and on the penalty kill, and can play physically when it is useful. When he hits, it's because he wants to get the puck for himself or his teammates.

    The most encouraging aspect of Mitchell's game is that he has taken all of his strengths from junior hockey and continued them in professional hockey.

    Mitchell is all over the highlights of the November 8th game against Chicago, a game where Iowa played pretty well despite the loss. At the 12 second mark, he swoops towards the net, ready to pop a loose puck into the net or to receive a pass from his teammates behind the net. Iowa's first goal of the game was created off a Mitchell takeaway, followed by a great pass to Hagel. For Iowa's second goal, Mitchell gets a breakaway, picks a spot and shoots. And it's a good shot. This was his first two point pro game, but since Mitchell is so consistent, it is possible to watch any game from this year and see thoughtful defense and offensive strengths.

    Mitchell's game is all about being consistent, steady and versatile, which is basically Wild hockey. He went from being a leader for the Guelph Storm to playing in every situation in his first professional season. In doing so, he displays the work ethic that got him this far.

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...