There were a few Wild prospects that made their NHL debut this past season. Odd for a team that went the regular season with nary a scuffle with the injury bug outside of Zach Parise. Zack Mitchell got his call to the show for the November 10th match-up against the eventual Stanley Cup champ Pittsburgh Penguins. The undrafted free agent turned AHL vet, especially on a team with so much influx of younger and newer talent, he has made himself quite a mainstay in the Wild farm system.
Before last season, when the Iowa Wild experienced a large roster turnover, Mitchel was among the team leaders in points and was one of the few catalysts on offense for the squad in Des Moines. This season, he was finally rewarded with 11 games from November to February. While he went pointless in those 11 games, it is his possession stats that make one worried if he can make the eventual jump to be that Jordan Schroeder/Justin Fontaine type utility player.
With Mitchell on the ice in 5-on-5 situations, the Wild gave up nearly 60 percent of the scoring chances and had 10 fewer shots taken than what was given up. Granted, the 4th line featuring Tyler Graovac, who couldn’t prove to a difference maker at the center position, and Chris Stewart whom everyone knows needs a play driver on his line to be at his best, Mitchell wasn’t likely going to be the answer.
Zack Mitchell Career Stats
|2008-2009||Toronto Marlboros Minor Mdgt AAA||GTMMHL||77||42||48||90||74|
|Toronto Marlboros Minor Mdgt AAA||OHL Cup||7||4||5||9||8|
|Canada Ontario U17||WHC-17||6||1||0||1||2|
|OHL All-Stars||Jr Super Series||1||0||0||0||0|
However, even with his performance in the 11 games at the NHL level, most of us at HW do think that his AHL numbers mean something. While he wasn’t going to crack the Top 10, Mitchell had a smattering of votes between the 13th and 25th positions on the list. There could be something there with him to be a lower line utility flex player if things can align right for him. Even then, he already getting passed up on the depth chart the more years go by.