The John Mitchell Experiment: Time for Maple Leafs To Blow It Up

December 17th, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
Originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, John Mitchell came to the Leafs with what many thought was tremendous offensive upside.

Mitchell, who stands 6'1" and weighs in at 204 pounds, played his junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL and scored 53 goals and 104 assists in his final two seasons as a junior—not the kind of stats that would blow anyone away, but certainly good enough to have teams believe he could emerge as a legitimate top six NHL forward.

After his time in the OHL, Mitchell found himself with the St. John’s Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies for parts of four seasons. Mitchell struggled offensively, scoring a total of 41 goals and 63 assists over what really amounts to three seasons (he played only two games with the St. John’s Maple Leafs in 2004-05).

Besides the offensive shortcomings, Mitchell also struggled on the defensive side of the game, posting a minus-seven in 2005-06 and minus-10 in 2006-07, followed by a decent plus-two in 2007-08.

Mitchell was given an opportunity to play with the big club in 2008-09. Through 76 games with the Maple Leafs, Mitchel ...

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